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JIS News

Legendary cricket fast bowler and Jamaica’s Ambassador-at-large, Courtney Walsh, has noted that the success of Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2007 depends on the success of the opening ceremonies to be held at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium on March 11, 2007.
“We the people of Jamaica will have to kick-start the World Cup in the right vein,” said Ambassador Walsh at a Press Conference held at the Jamaican Consulate General in Toronto, Canada on Monday, October 23.
Cricket World Cup 2007 will be staged in nine Caribbean countries at 12 venues between March 11 and April 28, 2007, with a total of 16 international teams participating in some 51 matches.
Ambassador Walsh was part of a team visiting Toronto to update Jamaicans in the diaspora on how they can play their part in ensuring the success of the third largest sporting event in the world.
The team, which comprised Executive Director of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) Robert Bryan; Deputy Director of Tourism David Shields; and Air Jamaica’s Director of Cricket World Cup Richard Lue, also spoke with members of cricket clubs and cricket fans on Sunday.
According to Mr. Bryan, the preparations by the region to host CWC 2007 are going well and the focus now is on marketing the event and filling the venues. He said in Jamaica the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium is scheduled for completion in another four weeks and renovations at Sabina Park should be finished in six weeks’ time. A major visit by the International Cricket Council (ICC) is due in November to view the preparations and infrastructure.
Noting that transportation will be critical because of the different venues, Mr. Lue said cricket lovers will need to plan their itineraries well in advance. He cautioned fans to go through one of the 57 official travel agents who are licensed to sell packages and tickets for the games. In Canada, they are Uniglobe and Tourcan.
Mr. Lue said Air Jamaica will be looking at putting on additional flights if the need arises.
The staging of CWC 2007 during the winter tourist season is an added stimulus for Jamaica to achieve its target levels for visitor arrivals next year, said Deputy Tourism Director Mr. Shields.
He noted that several initiatives should be completed by then including renovations at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston and new rooms through Iberostar and Pinero hotel chains.
Mr. Shields said the next stop for the team will be Belfast and Dublin in Ireland and India.