St. Kitts and Nevis is best equipped to handle challenge of Cricket World Cup 2007

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St. Kitts and Nevis is best equipped to handle challenge of Cricket World Cup 2007 (107/2006)

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, APRIL 5TH 2006 (CUOPM) – As the debate over the ability of the Caribbean region to pull off hosting the International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup in 2007 reaches the United States, the Los Angeles Times reports that St. Kitts and Nevis, which will host first round matches and the group with defending World Cup champion, Australia, has been deemed as one of the best equipped to handle the challenge.

“The smallest of the host countries is St. Kitts and Nevis, with about 45,000 residents. Nonetheless it is better positioned to deal with the cricket event than other islands because of its existing high-end accommodations,” said the report.

The story written by Dorian Bryan in the Los Angeles Times says that Trinidad and Tobago, flush with oil and gas revenue, is behind in its construction projects, but reportedly ready to step up the pace and spending.”

In the story on the movement in the region to get ready to host cricket’s biggest tournament, the suggestion was made that the Caribbean will struggle to complete preparations in time.

The article looks at the state of preparations in Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago, with reference to the work which is ongoing in the other Host Venues. The cost of the overall project was questioned with the lament raised that the Governments of the region had failed to indicate the full cost of World Cup spending.

“National organising committee officials predict tourism increases from the event, not just from the 100,000 fans expected to travel to the islands specifically for cricket, but also from visitors over the long term as the venues tropical splendour is showcased for the sport’s estimated 2.2 billion television viewers,” the article added.

It also stated that the region faced the prospect of exaggerated and systematic “delays, cost overruns, labour disputes and corruption scandals” which are “simultaneously threatening global embarrassment and political disaster.”

Venue Development Director of ICC CWC WI 2007 Inc, Donald Lockerbie, the report added, stressed that he was confident all 12 new stadiums and 20 major upgrades will be completed by the Oct. 31 deadline.

Each nation will have a competition pitch along with practice fields for the 16 teams in the tournament, which is held every four years.

“There are stadiums that are several weeks behind at this point. Grenada’s is one for sure. I would think that if any country failed at the Cricket World Cup that the government would collapse, and no one would want to see that happen,” Venue Development Director at ICC Cricket World Cup 2007, Donald Lockerbie was quoted as saying.

Concern was also raised about the ability of the region to recapture some of the major investment which it was making.

Photos show earlier construction phase of the St. Kitts and Nevis venue for Cricket World Cup financed by the Republic of China on Taiwan. (Photo by Erasmus Williams)