Despite the appalling way the West
Indies Cricket Board hosted the World Cup three years ago, they have been given
a quick reprieve with another international tournament starting today.
The Twenty20 World Cup is a chance
for the board to make amends – and it looks like they have got some aspects
right this time.
Tickets are not overpriced this
time so that locals will be able to afford to attend and grounds will not be
almost empty. Musical instruments will not be banned, which after all, is part
of the great vibe created at otherwise mostly dull cricket matches.
Spectators can take in their own
refreshments and not have to pay the extortionate prices like before for a
limited range of fast food.
Also, the tournament went on for
too long and there were too many insignificant matches.
On top of all that, Australia won
in near-darkness in a farcical finish.
Common sense should have dictated
that all these things could have been avoided, but they learnt a severe lesson
which still resonates today. Only this week Viv Richards claimed the 2007
staging of the World Cup here was a “disaster”. Like many who have the best
interests of West Indies cricket at heart, Richards hopes this tournament,
being staged in St. Lucia, Barbados and Guyana, is a great advert for the
region’s sports tourism product.
The fact that Pakistan’s coach Bob
Woolmer died in inconclusive circumstances in Jamaica only added to the
malaise. Fingers crossed that the board does not shoot itself in the foot
Now, all it needs is for Chris
Gayle’s men to stop under-achieving and finally win a major tournament on home