KINGSTON, Jamaica - President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Teddy Griffith has expressed confidence that the region would stage the best ever Cricket World Cup.
In delivering an address at the Annual Awards Banquet of the Medical Association of Jamaica last night, the WICB President said: “A mere thirty-three months from today, I have little doubt that we in the Caribbean should be basking in the glow of having hosted ‘the best Cricket World Cup ever’.”
Griffith was speaking at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, Kingston on the Theme, Challenges of Modern Day Cricket.
He reminded his audience that last November, in his first major statement as President of the WICB, he had told the Melbourne Cricket Club that the ICC CWC 2007 World Cup was to be a Caribbean event, with a distinctive Caribbean flavour and would deliver maximum economic returns, consistent with cricketing objectives, for the benefit of all the countries of the Caribbean. He had also said then that the ICC CWC 2007 would leave a legacy by means of which the future of West Indies cricket, its infrastructure and its development could be sustained after 2007.
“I hold fast to those aims and objectives and encourage you and your colleagues throughout the Caribbean to examine ways in which you can contribute to achieving them,” he told the gathering.
In realising those goals, the benefits, he said, would go far beyond the boundary and it was with that thought in mind that CARICOM leaders had been supporting the 2007 World Cup preparations.
The WICB President warned however, that to achieve that legacy, every Sector of society in every country of the Caribbean, had to lend its expertise and support to the effort. He alluded to the example set at last Cricket World Cup in Southern Africa where there was “a veritable army of volunteers ranging from professionals, (lawyers, doctors, engineers,) through university students to school children.”
“Their commitment to the success of the tournament in their country led them to lend their assistance, in many cases unpaid, to the organizers, in roles such as guides, ushers and liaison officers.
It is that kind of passion and pride in a country that can help to make the Cricket World Cup 2007 in the West Indies an unforgettable experience both for us as hosts and our visitors,” Griffith said.
He outlined the structure overseeing the preparations for and which would handle the operations during the ICC CWC 2007. He informed the MAJ and their guests that the WICB had established a subsidiary, ICC CWC WI 2007 Inc, which had its headquarters in Jamaica with Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Chris Dehring and a chairman in Rawle Brancker.
The board of directors, he said, comprised of individuals who had distinguished themselves in varied areas of expertise particularly in areas that will be significant in ensuring the smooth running of the preparations and of the tournament itself.
“At the Board level, we have sought to keep the leaders of CARICOM fully informed and involved for it is principally with their assistance that we can develop world class venues, grounds and practice facilities as well as to be able to stage world class opening and closing ceremonies; provide high quality accommodation for participating teams and visitors; put in place appropriate legislation to protect commercial rights; and implement security and anti-terrorism strategies, a requirement which has become an indispensable part of any major event in today’s world,” he pointed out.
He said eleven (11) countries had presented bids to host events based on the Bid Book and the Venue Assessment Team (VAT) comprising an independent group of world games experts was in the process of assessing the bids using criteria which took into account such matters as the cricket stadium and cricket operations, security issues, medical facilities, finance, accommodation, political environment, local organising committee, disaster management, media facilities, accreditation, communications, marketing support, and immigration and customs operations.
The VAT Team he said, would conclude its visit to each bidding country in the coming week and their technical assessment and recommendations would be passed on to the Board of the ICC CWC WI 2007 Inc. who would make the allocations of matches that would be sent to the ICC for approval.
The countries selected to host matches would be announced on July 4 while the award of matches would be revealed on July 12, Griffith said.
By December 31, 2004, Host Venue Contract negotiations should be finalised, the WICB President said.
“From that point on the pace of preparation will be heightened as the countries put processes in place to meet their obligations under their contracts,” Griffith added.