How we will choose the venues for CWC 2007 Across the Board ...from the West Indies Cricket Board
by Chris Dehring
Stabroek News
October 12, 2003

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ICC Cricket World Cup WI 2007 Inc. has developed a tender process in order to identify which of the Caribbean countries are willing and indeed able to deliver the contractual obligations to the ICC for hosting matches during the CWC 2007.

In order to do this fairly, it was determined by the CARICOM Prime Ministers’ Sub-Committee on the Cricket World Cup and endorsed by the Heads of Government that an independent, professional and unbiased assessment of all interested venues should be performed. That is the essence of our tender process. In our case in the Caribbean, our venues are in fact countries and general support infrastructure in the country becomes as important as actual cricket stadia, so these too must be assessed.

The contractual obligations, standards and technical specifications required by the ICC Host Agreement will be detailed in our Bid Book for the benefit of all countries interested in hosting matches. As agreed with the CARICOM Heads, these Bid Books will be delivered to the Heads of Government so that there is a national commitment to do what is necessary. What we will be aiming to do in the Bid Book is to set the minimum standards that countries/ venues must attain in order for them to be able to host varying levels of matches in 2007 (i.e. requirements for a final vs. a group stage game).

After seeing what is required, countries will then have the opportunity to apply or bid to host matches and inform us as to what they have and or how they intend to meet the requirements in order to host the games. Having received the country-bid, an independent Venue Assessment Team (the VAT) made up of experts in venue assessment with previous world-games experience will visit each prospective host and perform a technical assessment. Their report and recommendation will then be used by the Board of the ICC / CWC 2007 Inc. to allocate the matches purely on merit. While the eventual tournament format to be decided by the ICC will determine the number of matches and consequently the number of venues required, we estimate that 6 or 8 venues will be required.

The Bid Book will be divided into 18 sections which are considered necessary to host matches, including information from countries on their cricket stadia, airports, marinas, hotels, transportation, security etc. There are also areas where countries can use their creativity in proposing special events which could help us make this cricket world cup memorable in a way only West Indians can. The bid will also be the opportunity for individual countries to highlight their technical resources and abilities and their historical and cultural achievements.

Many of the CARICOM Heads, were particularly concerned that an arbitrary assessment or allocation method should not be used to determine whether or not their country was capable of hosting matches, or indeed left out of the larger and more economically beneficial matches.

We believe that all venues should be fairly assessed, from larger countries and those with very well known grounds to smaller countries and new venues without a long cricket tradition. CARICOM agreed and endorsed this principle without hesitation, i.e that all countries should have a fair and equal opportunity to demonstrate their ability to host matches in the cricket world cup in 2007.

A united West Indian effort is indeed needed to meet the challenge of hosting the cricket world cup successfully. In the same way that we all unite behind the West Indies team, we expect Caribbean people to rally around this cause no matter which countries come forward and are selected in the end. Just as we cheer on our beloved West Indies when they take the field, no matter which countries the players originate from, we should all be doing our part to ensure that the region succeeds as hosts.

A fair and unbiased selection process is one of the first big steps towards this goal and we are ready to make it.

* Chris Dehring is Managing Director & CEO of ICC Cricket World Cup WI 2007 Inc