World Cup 2007
Everything to be in place by February 19
Stabroek News
January 13, 2007

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Dr. Frank Anthony

"We are ready. I can see the pieces coming together."

Those were the words of Minister responsible for Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony yesterday as the Local Organising Committee for the International Cricket Coun-cil's 2007 World Cup competition, held its weekly press conference.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)of the LOC Karan Singh opened the briefing, held in the Conference Room of the NSC building on Main Street, by saying that contrary to media reports, all nine host countries were to participate in some form in the opening ceremony in Jamaica.

The Minister then gave a detailed account of the progress of the various aspects of Guyana's preparation for what will be the biggest event ever to be staged in the region including the pitch and out field, transportation, accommodation, safety and security, communications, the volunteer programme, the community permit programme and getting the city ready.

"The pitch and outfield is [sic] being worked on and we are confident they will be ready," said Dr Anthony, adding that grass was growing on the practice pitches and their run-ups while Terra Firma was getting the outfield in shape.

Karan Singh

Dr. Anthony also disclosed that a "park and walk" facility is being constructed near the Buddy's International Hotel.

The eleven-acre plot is being levelled and is expected to facilitate the parking of 2,500 automobiles, reducing the need for "park and ride" arrangements.

CEO Singh said the bed and breakfast response "has been good and growing and we now feel the goal of 2000 rooms will be attained.

"I spoke to both the new Buddy's Hotel and the nearby Cacique Hotel owners, and they are confident they will be ready in February," he said. An English security entity will train 350 local safety and security personnel while three members of the Guyana Police Force returned from abroad after being trained in stadium security and safety.

The Minister said they were very pleased with the volunteer programme and announced that a two-day training session for 350 registered volunteers would begin today.

GT&T will be providing communications at the stadium. They are in the process of setting up their infrastructure which will be completed by February 1.

CEO Singh disclosed that the nine host countries CEO's would be meeting in Jamaica on January 25 and 26 in preparation for the Venue Assessment Team's visit in early February. He added that by February 19 everything should be in place.

Minister Anthony discussed public efforts at beautifying the city and commended the John Fernandes Group of Companies for adopting a section of the city and starting their own beautification and enhancement programme.

"I wish to thank Chris Fernandes for this effort and urge other companies and NGO's to follow this lead making this a true cooperative effort," he said.