UWI to measure region's performance in hosting Cricket World Cup By Miranda La Rose
Stabroek News
April 2, 2007

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The ICC CWC West Indies Inc 2007 has commissioned the University of the West Indies (UWI) to measure the Caribbean region's performance in the hosting the ICC CWC 2007 tournament and it is expected that host venues would also conduct evaluations of their performances as well.

Meanwhile, in a brief interview with the Stabroek News at the Media Centre at the Providence Stadium yesterday, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the ICC CWC West Indies Inc, Chris Dehring, said that the performance of the various host venues in staging the world's third largest sporting event had been "a mixed bag" to date.

Almost admitting that the cost of the tickets for the various matches in the nine host venues was too high, something which had been reflected in the empty stands, Dehring told Stabroek News that regional governments were seeking to recover their investment in the various infrastructures, including stadia, they had developed for the event.

The revenue generated from the tickets would go back to the coffers of the various host venues, he said. The ICC CWC West Indies Inc 2007 had not set the prices for the tickets. These had been agreed among the region's representative stakeholders of the various Local Organising Committees. "There were many stakeholders," he said, adding that the ICC CWC West Indies Inc "might have wanted" a lower price rate to fill all the stands at every match, but the ICC CWC was not the only stakeholder.

Speaking about an evaluation of the tournament, Dehring said that while the ICC CWC West Indies Inc would have commissioned UWI to do an overall assessment, some of the economic impacts would not be measurable in the short term.

Asked about the conduct of the tournament to date, Dehring said that his organisation was pleased with the support and "most surprised" at the quality of service that had been provided by the host venues.

He said that there had been a good turn-out at some venues and for some matches, which the organisers would not have expected, and there had been good cricket with a number of history-making moments. These included the first six sixes in the ICC CWC tournament being achieved in the Caribbean including in Guyana where the fall of four consecutive wickets in four balls was a record.

However, Dehring, who was in the country yesterday and witnessed the West Indies third defeat in a row in the Super Eight tournament, said that hosting an event of such magnitude was not an easy task but in spite of the fact the Caribbean's economies were already poor and stretched to their limits, the region had been able to demonstrate its ability at a first-class level.

In terms of the impact the absence of the teams from India and Pakistan had had on the tournament, including the current Super Eight matches, Dehring said that the poor turnout would not affect most of the ICC CWC West Indies Inc 2007 financially since the sponsorship had been guaranteed and tickets pre-sold. There was, however, some concern for the sponsors, the majority of whom were from India, as well as in relation to a possible poor turnout to support the remaining teams in the tournament.

Many people who would have paid for seats in the semi-final and final matches would have been fans of some of the bigger teams which might be eliminated in the Super Eight, including the West Indies, which has already lost three straight matches and must win the three remaining matches to go forward to the semi-final round.

Yesterday's match, was the first to be completely sold out in the preliminary and Super Eight match to date, but there were many blocks of empty spaces in the US$100 and US$75 stands. The Grass Mound (US$25), where the majority of locally-based Guyanese were located, and the small Party Stand, which is separated from the Grass Mound by a fence, were filled to capacity.

The crowd was out mainly to give support to the home side, the West Indies.

With what was basically a full turnout, all the aspects of the organization for the event at the stadium were put to the test, and from reports there were only very minor hitches. The traffic flowed smoothly on both sides of the East Bank road with little or no traffic build-up at any time, or in the car park. The park was also filled for the first time. The sixteen queues with the various turnstiles easily took care of the spectators, and with assistance from the security and volunteer ushers they made their way without difficulty to their various stands.

However, all was not well in Block C Press Box of the Media Centre, where the air-conditioning unit malfunctioned and everyone began "to steam" as there were only two small windows at the back of the room which could be opened to let in air. In addition, the internet wireless connection was out in the Press Box for some four hours inconveniencing regional and foreign journalists.