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Windies Cup - Tuesday 06, July-2004
The eight hosting venues, chosen by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and announced at a media conference here yesterday beamed live back to the Caribbean through CMC radio and television, are all West Indian.
The only two extra-regional bids among the 12 submitted, from Broward County in the American state of Florida and from Bermuda, were unsuccessful.
The only disappointed West Indian territory was St Vincent and the Grenadines.
But Jamaica’s claim to have a second venue, in addition to Sabina Park, at a still-to-be constructed stadium at Trelawneywas rejected.
A venue assessment team (VAT) that comprised world games experts from various disciplines, along with representatives from the ICC and local organisers, did a detailed assessment of facilities and infrastructure of each bidding territory.
The final choice was made by the ICC on a recommendation presented to its board of directors by the event’s organising committee in Londonlast Friday.
Headed by Barbadian businessman and former West Indies player Rawle Brancker and comprising several eminent West Indians, it undertook a thorough analysisand assessment ofeach application.
The allocation of matches in what, with 16 teams, will be the biggest of the nine World Cup tournaments since the first in 1975, is scheduled to be declared on July 13 at a ceremony in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
As the teams deemed most likely to attract the greatest number of followers, Australia, England, India and West Indies have been already separated in the fourfirst-round groups.
The top two teams in each group move into the so-called Super Eights, also of four groups, leading to the semifinals and final.
ICC president Ehsan Mani set the “sort of time frame” as mid-February to the end of April, 2007. But he said the final decision would rest with the WICB.
The failure of Broward County’s bid, in spite of its council’s pledge to construct a stadium of40 000 for the event,was a surprise given the ICC’s stated commitment to spreading the game globally.
Mani acknowledged that it would have been “an added bonus” to the ICC’s “huge commitment to cricket in America” through its development programme.
But, he noted, “a very stringent, transparent process” was followed in arriving at the choices.
Asked if the United States’ tight controls on security and immigration came into the picture, Mani acknowledged it would have been “one of the considerations but not the only consideration”.
“The cricket community is fully supportive of the West Indies and it is confident that the enthusiasm, commitment and energy of the West Indian people will unite with a collective effort to host a most successful tournament in 2007,” Mani said.
THE SUCCESSFUL VENUES
• Antigua (at a new stadium with a capacity of 20 000).
• Barbados (Kensington Oval, to be renovated with capacity temporarily increased to 30 000).
• Grenada (Queen’s Park Stadium in St George’s that will boost capacity from 13 000 to 20 000).
• Guyana (at a new stadium with a capacity of 20 000 to be built by funds from the Indian government).
• Jamaica (Sabina Park in Kingston, to be upgraded to a capacity of 30 000).
• St Kitts (Warner Park in Basseterre, with capacity increased from 4 000 to 13 000 with temporary seating).
• St Lucia (Beausejour Stadium in Gros Islet, temporarily increased from 12 000 to 20 000).
• Trinidad and Tobago (Queen’s Park Oval, 25 000 capacity).
• The National Sports Centre in Bermuda has been awarded tournament warm-up matches.
It had been recommended by the WICB as a first alternative venue should
a match need to be relocated “for any reason”.
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