Wanted -- rooms, ticket sales Cricket World Cup 2007:
By Neil Marks
Guyana Chronicle
December 9, 2006

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WITH signals that the cricket stadium and the pitch and outfield would be ready for Guyana’s hosting of the quarter finals of Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2007, Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) Dr. Frank Anthony yesterday said Guyanese need to stop being lethargic about opening their homes and buying tickets.

Anthony, also Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, said ticket sales for the first and second phases, which ended November 30, were as expected.

As a result, he wants Guyanese to start “saving up” to take advantage of the third and final phase which starts on January 15.

After the two phases of ticket sales, only 50 per cent of tickets have been sold, Anthony told reporters at the Middle Street, Georgetown office of the LOC.

He said, however, for the India/South Africa and West Indies/Sri Lanka matches, 70 per cent of the most expensive tickets available have been sold.

In relation to ticket sales for the rest of the Caribbean, Guyana ranks fourth, behind Jamaica, Trinidad, and Trinidad.

“We would like to fill those seats at Providence,” Anthony declared, “so start saving up your money.”

He said some people have delayed buying the tickets, worrying about the cost, which ranges from US$25-$100. “Look at what is affordable to you,” he urged, adding “Get your tickets early.”

In addition, the minister is urging Guyanese to come forward and be part of the Bed and Breakfast initiative, under which Guyanese can offer a room or two to visitors who are expected to come in their thousands.

According to LOC Chief Executive, Mr. Karran Singh, the programme falls just over 1,000 rooms short of what was expected.

He said it is an opportunity for Guyanese to prove to the world the legendary hospitality they are known for, while at the same time earning, since the rooms will be charged.

Grenada has even gone the route of inviting its countrymen to open their doors free of charge to visitors, he said.

In Guyana’s case, he said, many Guyanese would be opening their homes to returning relatives and friends coming for the tournament, and this could be the reason for the shortfall of the rooms expected.

The LOC had hoped to have registered 2,000 rooms under the Bed and Breakfast initiative by the end of this year.

The New Building Society and the Institute for Private Enterprise Development have offered to give small loans to those persons who would like their houses renovated to host visitors.

Singh noted there is no doubt that the stadium will be ready for the games. However, he said “quite a bit of site works” remain.

These include fencing and putting in concrete drains. A team from the International Cricket Council (ICC) will visit Guyana on February 6 for a final inspection.

Singh said that from the last visit of the ICC officials, Guyana scored big in terms of organising ability, its volunteer programme and hospitality.

President of the Guyana Cricket Board, Mr. Chetram Singh, posited that concerns of the last ICC visit with respect to the field and pitch preparation are being resolved.