PM Calls for National Support as Jamaica Prepares for World Cup Cricket


Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has called for national support as preparations are put in place for Jamaica’s leg of the 2007 International Cricket Council’s Cricket World Cup (ICC/CWC).
He noted that while the staging of the event was a “massive undertaking,” Jamaica and the rest of the region was up to the task and called for the support of the private sector, non-government groups, and every facet of civil society, including the church.
The Prime Minister was speaking on Sunday (Nov. 2) at cornerstone laying ceremony for the headquarters of the ICC/CWC West Indies 2007 Inc. at 51 St. Lucia Avenue.
He remarked that at long last, the West Indies had been afforded the deserved recognition for its distinctive contribution to cricket, by its designation as host for the World Cup tournament in 2007.
“To the people of the Caribbean, cricket is not simply a pass time or a recreational activity. It is a way of life. It is a potent force for uniting our people and is unquestionably the most visible and successful manifestation of Caribbean integration,” the Prime Minister emphasized.
A corporate subsidiary of the West Indies Cricket Board, ICC/CWC West Indies 2007 Inc. will have prime responsibility for preparing for and running the world cup tournament. A highly specialised staff, headed by Chris Dehring, has already been put in place, with Rawle Brancker as Chairman.
The building, which was made available by the Development Bank of Jamaica, is being leased to the ICC for a period of five years at a cost of $1 per year. The Government has undertaken the responsibility for refurbishing the facility, “to an acceptable level”, Mr. Patterson informed, indicating that the facility was already 50 per cent complete.
“We expect that the laying of this cornerstone will provide a good foundation and serve as a platform for the preparation of this tournament and the fulfilment of high expectations, which are not confined to Jamaica, but encompass the entire Caribbean and the entire cricketing world,” Mr. Patterson said, adding that plans to develop the Kingston business district would be advanced to ensure that necessary resources were in place for the tournament.
“The entire government of Jamaica is determined to ensure that this tournament is a memorable success. The Leader of the Opposition has been in daily contact with me about the progress in the arrangements and so has the newly elected mayor of this city,” he informed.
“I have no doubt that the ICC/CWC West Indies 2007 Inc. will feel truly at home in Kingston and that Jamaica will provide a climate which is conducive to the successful planning and implementation of the Cricket World Cup in 2007,” he stated.
Chris Dehring, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, explained that the offices would feature modern, high tech equipment, including a virtual private network that would link several satellite offices across the region.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the ICC, Malcolm Speed described West Indies cricket “as one of the true phenomenon of the world of sports. This region has earned the right to host this event through hard work and great performance on the cricket field and proving to the rest of the cricketing world that you have the ability as administrators to run one of the world’s major sporting events,” he stated.
He said that despite the obvious logistical challenges of such an event being hosted across seven or eight countries in the region, “we have a great deal of faith that in partnership with the other cricketing countries, and with the ICC, that in 2007, you will put on a world class event that will have a unique Caribbean flavour that will give the rest of the cricketing world an opportunity to see how much the citizens of the West Indies enjoy the great game of cricket”.

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