Jan 05, 2022 Sports
Government hosting the cricket, GCB playing supporting role
By Sean Devers,
Kaieteur News – The ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup was first staged in Australia in 1988 and come January 14, 2022, the fourteenth Edition of this Event will commence at the Providence Stadium with West Indies facing off with inaugural winners Australia.
Four matches are scheduled for Guyana and will be played at Providence and Everest in the City on January 14 & 15.
On January 14 West Indies battle Australia at Providence and Sri Lanka face Scotland at Everest, while the next day Ireland play Uganda at Everest and India oppose South Africa at Providence.
The final will be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on February 5.
West Indies are in Group ‘D’ along with Australia, Sri Lanka and Scotland.
While matches in the ICC Men’s World Cup was staged at Providence in 2007, the Men’s T20 in 2010 and the Women’s T20 in 2018, this is first time that an U-19 World Cup will staged in the West Indies and Guyana.
In 2016, under the Captaincy of Guyanese Shimron Hetmyer, West Indies won its only U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh.
According to Guyana’s Minister of Culture, Youth & Sport Charles Ramson Jr, the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) is a part of Local Organising Committee (LOC) which is headed by Director of Sports Steve Ninvalle.
“We have organised the LOC based on the respective stake holders. Most of it is Government related but the GCB has an overarching role because it’s really the Government that’s hosting the cricket but we also know that they are important in relation to organisation and have a lot of internal capacity that they can rely on in relation to leadership. So they are playing a supportive role,” explained Minister Ramson.
The Minister informed that they were several criteria that had to be met for Guyana’s bid to be successful.
“Most of it is non-financial in the sense that we were responsible for giving the commitment in terms of being a host that doesn’t come with a cost for them (ICC).
And in return…while it is not a direct significant revenue earner for the Government, it’s significant revenue earner for the Country.
So we quantified that and said is this important for us to make a bid and internally I made an announcement that we had calculated that we expected to generate about US$3 million worth of revenue coming directly to the Country and excludes all the other spin off effects.
When we submitted our bid it was the ability to host in relation to Hotels, Transportation, Security, Covid precautions…mostly along those lines, and the commitment that we would give tax concessions and wavers when they are bringing in their equipment. Those are the main things, but we also get some non-financial benefits like advertising at the International level because the games will be broadcasting internationally from here so we get to advertise our Guyanese products to the world,” continued the Minister.
Ramson, a former left arm spinner at division one level for Everest, also spoke about the challenges faced.
“During the two weeks of December was a really challenging time for us because of adverse weather conditions. We knew that the rainy season was in December but it was the severity of the rain which caused a worry. So we had to redirect a lot of our energies towards keeping the facilities at a certain level of maintenance,” said Minister Ramson who also played in the West Indies Lawyer’s team as an all-rounder.
Minister Ramson added that additional pumping out of water from the grounds while clearing and doing all the renovations work because there were multiple inspections from the ICC and CWI.
“At one point it was getting a bit iffy in whether we were going to remain a host Country. Internally I did not want to raise any unnecessary concerns with the public but internally we were putting in all the efforts.
I am very happy with what I am seeing from the leadership of all of the committees for the various grounds as they all pulled their weight,” added the Minister.
Apart from Guyana’s lone International Cricket venue, Bourda, who hosted Test and ODI cricket up to 2006, Everest and Enmore (which both hosted First-Class cricket) are the venues identified as match and practice facilities.
CWI are the ICC representatives here and updating them on what is going on in terms of the condition of the grounds. However, the ICC is expected shortly.
“I had a lot of Cabinet support from the various Ministries and from the President himself because we know how important cricket is for Guyana and for the young people for that event to be here to create the ignition for dreams to be crystalized.
When they think about what they can do for a future, cricket is an organised sport. It is an important part of who young people become and some of us here entered careers that are related to sports and came from a background of playing sports.
I know personally how important organised sport is and events like this are important for Guyana. I remember going to see West Indies play when I was really young and dreaming of playing for the West Indies and that is why, as a Country it was important for us to put in the effort to keep the games in Guyana.
So thankfully, all of the maintenance work at the grounds are 99 percent completed. All the changing rooms, stands, pavilion, infrastructure in relation to drainage is done. Right now we want to keep everything the way that it needs to be along with implementing the respective agencies so that they are allowed to do their work,”concluded Minister Ramson who informed that teams have already slated to come into Guyana.
After their series against young South Africa, West Indies will travel to Guyana from St Vincent where that series is being played.
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