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ST. LUCIA - cricket
World Cup 2007
'No' To Deal - Thursday 15, July-2004 by HAYDN GILL
Barbados won the black package which contains the final and a Super Eight group that includes three of the biggest matches, while St Lucia was awarded the blue package which carries the first round group with England, plus a semifinal.
The joint bid of Barbados and St Lucia proposed a sharing of first-round matches between the two countries.
Under the proposal, the two countries were hoping that instead of the six first-round matches being played in the Windward Island territory, a few could have been played also in Barbados.
It was, however, turned down in light of commitments given to ICC members that that there would be no travelling around from island to island in any group during the first phase of the tournament.
“What we had in mind was a sharing of the groups – the black and the blue groups,” World Cup Barbados chief executive officer Stephen Alleyne told NATIONSPORT yesterday.
“As we went through the process following the submission of bids, it became clear that we were up against a very significant challenge.”
Bearing that in mind, World Cup Barbados carried out its own research which revealed that the distance between Barbados and St Lucia was smaller than the distance teams travelled in the 1999 World Cup in England and far smaller than the distance the teams travelled in 2003 in South Africa.
“The point [moving around from island to island] was apparently upper most in the minds of the ICC members,” Alleyne said.
“We had addressed the logistical challenges in terms of the air bridge that we intended to build.
“In effect, a surrogate rule of some, which seems to have been applied once you have to pack your suitcase and move, there is a kind of barrier which exists.”
Barbados and St Lucia, however, will still work together and officials of the two countries meet as early as tomorrow to chart the way forward.
“The reality is that the groups we were most interested in we have got,” Alleyne said.
“We meet as early as Friday to now decide how we carry what was a promise in the form of a bid into reality. There are tremendous opportunities for working together.
“We have the ability to go to the world and say come and stay in one of these countries or both, spend two weeks here, two weeks there. You can watch a match in the first round, right up to the final if you have the means and the time.”
The configuration of matches is such that there won’t be matches simultaneously in Barbados and St Lucia.
The joint bid stemmed from the objective of creating a hub for the tournament where visitors, regardless of what countries they were supporting, could feel comfortable being based in ‘St Lucia-Barbados’.
“We felt it would have a significant economic impact on both countries,” Alleyne said.
“We would try to maximise the visitor presence all to the good of the economy. We saw a number of positives.”
Compliments of the Nation
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