Arnos Vale on track to meet 2007 Cricket world cup deadline
February 24, 2006

Arnos Vale on track to meet 2007 Cricket world cup deadline

The Vincentian public can expect a better flow of information as it relates to this country’s preparations to host 2007 Cricket World Cup warm up matches in March next year.

Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Fitz Huggins gave this assurance last Saturday. This was during a site inspection at the Arnos Vale Playing Field.

The newly appointed Chairman said that the issue of the dissemination of information was his major area of discomfort.{{more}}

“My biggest concern is the amount of information that is out there with the public. I think there is too much sketchy information. We need to open up to the public,” Huggins said.

He noted that the LOC had an aggressive campaign on stream.

Huggins disclosed that the opening of the official LOC secretariat February 28 will help to advance the process.

Concerns were raised in local circles that enough was not being done to sensitise Vincentians of the implications of hosting such matches and the long-term benefits from staging an event of international status.

“While I am chairman, I will work hard to make sure that information flows freely, not only to the media, but also throughout the membership of the board,” Huggins stated. Apart from this, the consensus of the inspection team was that St. Vincent and the Grenadines was on target for the October 31 completion date.

Huggins, Sports Minister Glen Beache and CEO Michael Findlay were satisfied with the pace at which the work was being done.

Beache would like to see the work finish ahead of schedule.

His ambition is to be well set to host group matches in the event that the other designated venues falter in their efforts.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is first in line as stand by for the group matches.

Beache defended government’s injection of EC$30 Million into the upgrade of the Arnos Vale One and Two as well as the Sion Hill and Stubbs Playing Fields.

Beache sees the investment as an input into tourism. “It’s a way for sports tourism. If we don’t spend this money we would not be getting anymore One Day International matches. It is something we are putting in place for the future,” Beache, a former national sprinter, stated.

“This is a tourism project,” he reiterated.

At present, work is taking place on the four grounds with the focus of attention on Arnos Vale One.

According to Findlay, a river defence is being erected.

In addition, the Bleachers are nearing completion. The foundation is already dug for the Media Centre at the southern end of the ground.

Continuing with the report on the progress of work, the CEO said the double –decker stand, to be erected at the southeastern end, has already been marked out, with the two other structures – the Players’ Pavilion and the Administrative Centre, still to be demolished and re-designed.

He said that re-grassing of three grounds would be done on a phased basis: Stubbs, Sion Hill, then Arnos Vale. The end of August is the set time for this to be completed.

Findlay also announced that a new computerised irrigation and drainage system is earmarked for the main facility, along with a new type of grass more suitable for cricket fields.

This country will host Bermuda, Zimbabwe, England and Australia from March 2 -10 next year, in warm up matches as a prelude to the World Cup group competition.

The warm up format is a first in the 31 -year history of the tournament held every four years.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) incorporated the matches in the official programme.

It will also be the largest Cricket World Cup ever, with sixteen countries participating.