JIS News

Former West Indies fast bowler and captain, Courtney Walsh, has called on all Jamaicans and Caribbean nationals abroad to come home and support the region’s team in the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) Championship next year.
“We want all Jamaicans and all Caribbean nationals to come home and kick start the tournament in Jamaica . If the team gets that encouragement from day one, from the entire Caribbean, that we are behind them from the opening ceremony, I’m sure that the youngsters would get the message loud and clear, that the fans are coming to back them, to support them and therefore, failure is not an option,” he said.
Mr. Walsh, who is a sporting ambassador for Jamaica and spokesman for the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), told reporters and community leaders in New York on the weekend, that the potential of the team cannot be questioned. “What some people are questioning and rightly so, seems to be the commitment and consistency and whether the guys are still playing with pride. If, however, we go out and show them that we believe in them, put them under pressure to show us their commitment, their pride and to be consistent, they have every chance of winning the Cricket World Cup next year”, he said.
A member of the Jamaica Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for CWC 2007, he also emphasized that the unbridled support of the team from the outset was most critical.
“If we come home and show that level of support from day one, the team has no other option but to play to the best of their ability. If they do and we still do not win the Cricket World Cup, all who come will be happy that we gave it our best shot, but we’ve got to play our part and force them to play their part as well,” Mr. Walsh said. “A strong show of support for the home team will send a clear message to everyone involved. We want it to be the best (Cricket) World Cup ever. It’s going to be historic and momentous, so come out and support and show your true colours,” he urged. Mr. Walsh was also pleased with the recent appointment of former West Indies captain, Clive Lloyd, as a member of the management structure of the West Indies team.
“I have no doubt that the team will benefit tremendously from his experience and his expertise as he is without question, one of the best ever to have played the game. We should begin to see some consistency in their play, some more commitment and a lot of pride,” he said. Robert Bryan, Executive Director of the LOC, said that Cricket World Cup was the third largest sporting event of its kind in the world and that the region was on schedule to meet all the demands of hosting the championship from early March through to late April, 2007 in nine countries.
Since Friday, October 6, the promotional team of Mr. Bryan; Janice Allen, Destinations Marketing Manager, JTB; Ambassador Walsh; Richard Lue, Director of Special Projects, Air Jamaica Limited; Pauline Nelson, Public Relations Officer, LOC and Melvin Smith of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), have been meeting with corporate and community concerns in the Northeast USA to promote CWC 2007 in the Caribbean.On Friday, the team was hosted at a press reception at the Jamaican Consulate, Manhattan and later at a town hall meeting at Delroy’s Caf