JIS News

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director of the ICC Cricket World Cup West Indies 2007, Chris Dehring, has said that all West Indians would have to pull together to make sure that no major incidents of violence occurred during the staging of the event.
“It is incumbent on each of the host countries, and it is not just the government or the people, but it is everybody, every person, every institution, every Member of Parliament and every Minister of Government and every Member of the Opposition to understand that as a country, they will be on show and therefore things like violence just cannot occur,” he told JIS News, while responding to concern about the current wave of violence in Jamaica since the new year.
He hopes that the situation in Johannesburg, South Africa, which was and still remains one of the violent cities on earth, will be replicated here as during the ICC CWC South Africa 2003, the violence seemingly disappeared for the duration of the event.
“Nobody in South Africa, even the criminals, apparently wanted the country to be seen in a negative light,” he said. “This is what, here in Jamaica, we may want to make everybody feel a sense of pride, that this country is going to feel if we can host the event successfully here in Jamaica, without that sort of stigma,” Mr. Dehring continued.
He also said that although the issue of violence was a concern, it was no more of a concern, from an event perspective, than the other challenges that all host nations had to face and overcome.
Mr. Dehring argued that the region had an opportunity to deal with these challenges and demonstrate clearly to the world that it was capable of hosting big events, as it had the managerial capability, among other assets.
“This [event] is a tremendous challenge.the Caribbean is going to end up staging one of the 20 largest events in the world. When you look at the list of countries that have hosted mega events you will see no small Third World countries. You will see the USA, Greece, Australia, South Korea, Japan and France. This is an incredible opportunity for us to put our name, as a region, down in history,” the CEO explained, adding that the event would be a statement of what the region could achieve in the global market.
In the meantime, the CEO is confident that the implementation of the CARICOM visa will not dampen the interest in the tournament, which is less than 30 days away.
“We think the Caribbean is such a place of unbridled desire. It is already a destination of choice, you add the Cricket World Cup to it and people see it as one day cricket coming home,” he told JIS News.
“In fact, they are going to be pleased with what that CARICOM single visa is going to allow them to do, in terms of moving freely between the countries. Those of us who travel the Caribbean often, know what this is going to mean in terms of the comfort in travelling, because we know how hard it is to go from country to country in the Caribbean and to be constantly passing through customs and immigration,” Mr. Dehring pointed out.
Imagine the freedom of movement, and you will imagine a very happy fan, he said. This is whether they come from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the Caribbean. “It is a very exciting time in the history of the Caribbean and it is a landmark year for the Caribbean,” he noted.
The CARICOM Single Domestic Space was initiated on February 1 and will remain in force until May 15, 2007, approximately two weeks after the conclusion of Cricket World Cup 2007.