ICC Cricket World Cup - progressing smoothly

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By Melton Williams

westindies-cricket.jpgWith less than 100 days to go before the start of the biggest sporting event in the Caribbean and the third largest sporting event - the ICC Cricket World Cup, Jamaica's preparation is progressing smoothly.

This was revealed by Robert Bryan, executive director of Jamaica Local Organizing Committee at a press briefing at Jampro's training room.

The World Cup will be played in eight territories in the region, each receiving different packages. Jamaica was granted the Yellow Package and will host the Opening Ceremony, one semi-final game and six first round matches. The seven games in Jamaica will be played at Sabina Park. All territories must be ready for handing over to the ICC Cricket World Cup, three weeks before the start of the event.
Jamaica was mandated to construct and refurbish two stadiums and following a recent ICC Venue Tour, the island was giving passing grades.

Bryan said 'this obviously was confirmed by the comments and assessment of the CWC and ICC tour officials. We however are very mindful that with less than 100 days before the start of the events here in Jamaica there is still a lot to be done. We must avoid complacency and stay focused on the job at hand. There is absolutely no doubt that our stadiums will be completed on time for handing over to the ICC CWC 21 days before the start of the event."

Bryan also said that the LOC has cemented agreement with other critical sites for the venue operation at Sabina Park. These include Emmett Park, the Holy Trinity School grounds and the lands to locate the search park on South Camp Road. He noted that the LOC should take possession of Emmett Park from December 1.

The other areas of preparation are also progressing at a good pace according to Bryan. The Volunteer Programme has received over 2000 applications; the Sunset Legislation was passed thereby establishing the legal framework for the hosting of the event, the Transportation Plan is being finalised, having received assistance from the United States Department of Transport. This was arranged by the assistance of the USAID office here in Jamaica.

He also noted that the Park and Ride locations have been secured with the exception of the National Heroes' Park. A medical master plan has been developed and approved by the ICC.

Bryan said "We are still trying to negotiate an affordable fee with the National Solid Waste Management Authority. The LOC is presently out to tender for the supply of the required transport services."
Bryan further noted that the ICC CWC 2007 needs to be marketed and promoted internationally more aggressively than now appears to be the case.

He said "for our part here in Jamaica and within that context we have developed in association with the Jamaica Tourist Board an extensive programme.

"This programme focuses on three areas - firstly, the normal destination marketing of the board which successful bring two million tourists per year to Jamaica; secondly, on opening new market opportunities arising from Cricket World Cup, Ireland and India and thirdly, the Jamaican Diaspora.

He said that the LOC feels that Jamaican Diaspora needs to also take ownership of the event and as an integral part of the host nation see it as their responsibility to come home and help Jamaica host the event in the best possible way.

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