On Target
March 16, 2007
High grade for the Local Organising Committee

We have made it! After two years of planning, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and by extension St. Vincent and the Grenadines staged the four warm up matches involving Australia, Bermuda, England and Zimbabwe.

At least the event came off without major incidents. The LOC can feel justly proud that they were able to fulfill most of the requirements as mandated by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Cricket World Cup (CWC).{{more}}

Generally things were under control and the LOC came out with a passing grade for its efforts.

We were spared the horrors of a real test of our capabilities at the main arena, the Arnos Vale Sports Complex, as there were no large crowds, except for an appreciable one last Friday, to show what we are really worth or to show up sufficiently our shortcomings.

The Volunteer Programme added much colour to the Arnos Vale facility and brought a new dimension to sporting organisation to the land. They promised us a “Spectacular Spectator Experience” and in most instances delivered on that promise.

However, there were many lessons that should have been learnt that should serve us in good stead for future events.

It was quite evident that there was disparity in the understanding of the role of the volunteers and some of the security officers. There were at times varied instructions given leaving one to wonder what to do or who to follow.

Although many meant well, their over-exuberance in getting the job done bordered on arrogance.

Some of the lapses by the personnel charged with match day happenings are inexcusable. The posting of the names on the scoreboard, with the match well underway last Friday is unpardonable. So too was the repair work being carried out at the double decker area with many patrons already in the venue. This was unacceptable no matter the reason proffered by the organisers.

The open prejudice shown to the foreign press and visitors discolours any sense of impartiality. Whilst one may understand that we were trying to impress the visitors in order to enhance our tourism product, to do so at the cost of embarrassment and disdain to locals, is unwelcome.

Many persons would be basking in the fact that there were no bumper crowds, but this was a result of their undoing.

No one ever expected to have sold out crowds for the four days, as the propaganda machine set up by those with other agendas seemed to have worked. This machinery was been oiled for several months, with misgivings about the restrictions and prohibitions rife and stretched to proportions of absurdity. Although the efforts were made by the LOC to put a cog in that engine, theirs was a little too late and in instances lame.

But the LOC was always up against it to sell the event to Vincentians granted the nature of the matches and that the West Indies were not involved.

The aggression of the foreign media in discrediting aspects of our preparations had to be withstood by all and sundry.

Some will ask on hindsight, was it worth it, but it was worth a try. We may have outdone ourselves in trying to set high standards but the benchmark was never mediocrity. This can be attributed to the slip ups in some quarters.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines have played its part as the Caribbean region endeavours to show the world that we can stage a worldclass event.

We are now in a position with the know how as well as a store house of personnel to call on, when putting on ventures needing air tight planning, however, with the understanding that there must be modifications to fit into this country’s way of life.

The task is ours to make certain that the facilities are maintained and eke out bit by bit through thoughtful planning the millions spent.

Our input has ended for the time being but not over as we must be ready ourselves in the event of mishaps that may occur in any of the other host countries.

The cake is whole and the rest of the region has to put in the necessary ingredients to make sure that the World Cup, cricket finest showpiece, turns out to be a palatable one.