‘Stay focused in the ICC CWC 2007 homestretch' – Dehring
February 13, 2007
Senior officials from the International Cricket Council (ICC) and ICC Cricket World Cup West Indies 2007 Inc. are urging the Caribbean to stay focused on their commitment to deliver the Best Cricket World Cup Ever.
Speaking in Trinidad & Tobago on Friday, following the final CWC Board meeting before next month's tournament, ICC CWC 2007 Managing Director & CEO, Chris Dehring, cautioned that while “we are approaching the finish line...we need to run through the tape and not ease up”.
Marking 30 days to CWC's Opening Ceremony with a Press conference he stated, “We will be ready and we're going to host a fantastic event” but listed a variety of matters in various Host Venues as examples of work yet to be completed. “There have been some issues in Jamaica with the practice facilities. They need to focus on that and make sure we have perfect practice facilities. It's not enough to have perfect facilities for the official matches. We want to have a perfect World Cup and therefore we must have perfect practice facilities as well.
“Here in Trinidad , we've had construction challenges with finishing up some of the stands (at Queen's Park Oval) and we need to get that focused on, notwithstanding Carnival. We understand the international phenomenon that it is but you also have your responsibility to make sure the stadium is finished,” said Dehring.
The man at the helm of CWC's organisation also cited Buddy's International Hotel in Guyana which will house media and other critical stakeholders. He noted that the upcoming Rio Summit, slated to be held in Guyana on March 3rd, will be a big litmus test for that hotel. “We will be watching that with tremendous interest. The government, through the president has given us their assurance that the hotel is going to be ready for that summit and therefore it will be in good stead to host CWC...we are relying on Guyana to deliver on their promise.
“We mention these (situations), not because we don't think they will be finished, but it is always important to keep our eye on the ball. We want to make sure everything is in order come March 11. All systems go.”
Meanwhile, ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed, who addressed the media as well, warned against any complacency at this late stage
“There is still work to be done and there's not much time for it to be done. That's usually the case with an event such as this, that as we come into the last month there's still work to be done at some of the venues and there's a sense of urgency where every day counts as we're heading towards a deadline,” he noted.
Praising the vast progress made throughout the nine Host Venues thus far, he described the report from the recent ICC Venue Tour as “encouraging” and stated that “the rest of the cricket world is now very confident that this World Cup will be hosted in venues that are a credit to the countries and the governments that have built them”.
These stadia, he added, will be the stage for “some great cricket to be played...and appreciated by cricket fans around the world”. “I think the cricket world is now ready to come here; to enjoy some great cricket in the West Indies ; to enjoy the great hospitality that is always extended to cricketers and cricket fans in this part of the world and to determine which of the 16 teams will be the World Cup winner for 2007,” said the ICC CEO.
Noting that it has been ten years since the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) set out to bid for the 2007 edition of cricket's most prominent tournament, Dehring told the media that overall CWC is “pleased with where we are and very excited about what's happening across the region”.
“It's a mammoth undertaking, coordinating 10,000 people across nine countries in delivering an event...10,000 people who are working full-time to deliver this event and coordinating that effort has been a joy; to see everybody come together; to see everybody feel that this is a Caribbean undertaking and not just an individual undertaking.
“It is disappointing that we have venues that are a little behind. We know the work will be done but let us focus and make sure it is done.”