Plans for Cricket World Cup What the people say about
By Gaulbert Sutherland
Stabroek News
February 19, 2007

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As the Cricket World Cup (CWC) draws nearer, have you decided if you will go? Do you feel we are ready? Will the tournament go off smoothly? We asked the man and woman in the street these questions. Below are their responses:

Amanda Luthers, sales clerk - 'No, I will not be going to any matches because the tickets are too expensive. I think that the country is ready because Guyanese like cricket and would pay money to see the games. I listen to the news and I think that everything's ready. I think that they did the best they could. There are lots of guards there and with a lot of overseas people coming it will be safe. However, there are problems with the road and lights, which need to be fixed.'

Mahatam Singh, electrical technician - 'No, I won't be going to any games because I can't afford it and I won't get time off from work also. They didn't put the ground to a test; it is the first test it is going to get. The government says that everything will be in place. I think Guyana is ready to host the matches and I don't think there will be any big problems with the tournament. There will be problems but not big ones.'

Etwaroo Jagernath, public sector employee - 'It would not be possible for me to go because I have to work. If I didn't have to work I would go to cricket. Guyana is positively ready to host the world cup but security needs to be beefed up. I think that the security should have a little more training but the time is very short. The games will be very exciting because it is the first time Guyana and the Caribbean will be hosting world cup cricket. According to the Minister of Home Affairs everything is set for the tournament so I don't think there will be any problem like with travelling between the countries. It is an open question as to who will win but I am backing the West Indies.'

Saskia Nelson, secondary school student - 'Yes, I plan to go to the Cricket World Cup games. I don't have a ticket yet but I plan to get one at the end of this month. I think Guyana is prepared to host the matches. I think we have everything ready in terms of the stadium, transportation and security. I think the entire tournament will go off smoothly. I am backing the West Indies and I think they will win.'

Latoya West, secondary school student - 'No, I don't plan to go to world cup cricket because I am not a fan and I don't think that it would be fun. I think Guyana is ready to host Cricket World Cup. I think we are ready with the stadium, transportation, and security. I don't think there will be any problems in the tournament. I am backing the West Indies and I think they will win the tournament.'

Philbert Oggis, mason/ carpenter - 'Yes, but I plan to go to one match only because it's too expensive and I have six kids who like cricket and I can afford only one match because I want the whole family to go to the Cricket World Cup. I didn't purchase any tickets as yet but if the West Indies goes through I would be proud to support them. The transportation situation is not well. Yesterday (Friday) at the trial game traffic was terrible. I think that there should be a new route to go beyond Providence to avoid build-up of traffic at the stadium. Also, I don't believe we have proper security; it needs to be boosted. For example, look at what happened at the Soca Monarch in Berbice. Also persons of different natures will be here so you don't know who will be here with friendly minds or who will be disturbed. The joint services should have been properly trained for the tournament. They should have prepared a special squad since four years ago. Everyone will be excited but I don't know about the stadium. I wish it would be ready so Guyana will be showcased around the world. I wish everything will be successful and that the West Indies will hold the best world cup with everything safe and everyone friendly to visitors and teams alike. I hope that in the future they will bid to host another Cricket World Cup. I am backing South Africa, Australia, West Indies and New Zealand but I don't know who will win because of the uncertainties of the game.'

Rajendra Khan, UG student - 'I don't know if I will be going to any matches because of financial constraints. I don't think that there will be any problems with transportation because I heard that they are bringing BMW's to transport the officials though generally congestion will be a problem as the roads are too narrow. Also, I don't think security will be very effective because the crime rate is still high and if we can't handle the crime I don't know. From the outside the stadium looks good but I haven't seen inside as yet. As for the tournament, I don't think there will be problems travelling between countries as the immigration office has set up the special passport. I am backing the West Indies and I think they will go a far way.'

Leslie Sobers, attorney-at-law - 'Yes, I will be going to Cricket World Cup and support the West Indies. However, for years Guyanese and particularly the citizens of Georgetown have been left to live in squalor with overflowing drains, garbage all over the place, very few traffic lights and no efforts were made to correct those things. But now because of CWC there is a big scamper and great haste to put things in place and correct the defects for the people coming, which suggests that the quality of life that Guyanese are expected to live should be less than even that which visitors must enjoy in our own country. Look at Vlissengen Road and Cemetery road starting from the La Penitence police outpost to Princes Street. For years the drains were clogged up with vegetation, filled with garbage and the bridges were in a state of disrepair, including one that caused a man to lose his life. It seems as though it would not have mattered if Guyanese would have fallen into the gaping holes, broken their necks and died. But with CWC all the bridges have been replaced, garbage collected, drains cleared, vegetation removed and the avenue resurfaced. Now you have streets cleared up and in what used to be a car park mired in mud and grime there is now a concrete curb filled with earth in preparation for landscaping but through the years it could not have been done for the enjoyment of Guyanese but now it is being done because strangers are coming. If there had been no CWC the improvements would not have been forthcoming at this time. I fully support the efforts that are being made and agree that it must be spruced up for visitors but I am ashamed that it is only being done this time and in some cases the workers are not even doing a good job.'

Lashawna Haghes, sales clerk - 'I plan to go cricket but only one match because that is all I can afford. I think the country is prepared to host the matches. I think that the transportation systems would cope with everything but I think that there should be improvements in security with more policemen on the streets to control traffic. I don't know if the stadium is ready. I think that the entire tournament will go off smoothly with the mechanism in place for hassle-free travel during the period. I am backing the West Indies and I think they will win.'

Gwendoline Lovell, self-employed - 'I haven't made up my mind as to whether I'll be going to Cricket World Cup. I heard that the ground at the stadium was too slow and the guards there took away the people's cosmetics. I don't think that Guyana is ready for the tournament because during the 20/20 match they held yesterday (Friday) there was a traffic jam for two to three hours. Some people had to leave their cars and walk just to catch their flights at the airport and also reach the stadium. I have a friend who arrived at work late just because of the traffic. The security looks okay but is moving too slow. They have to get more security for the CWC. The car park at the stadium looks okay on the news. The stadium looks nice but people are saying that the pitch is slow. For the tournament I think that there will be a problem with traffic. Also, the flights seem to be another problem as lots of people will be coming and arriving without their luggage. They should walk with their clothes in their carry-on luggage and walk with extra money to buy clothes. I am backing the West Indies. We have to win.'