AFTERMATH – A shot in the dark? Clearly Wasted Cricket: CWC 2007, OITC!

Even on the last day of this ICC fiasco, they had to mess it up! From the time rain delayed the final match yesterday, it should have been shunted to the next venue in Grenada, was that not why they had the last match on Saturday? To use Sunday as a just-in-case? The senior personnel who should have known better from the get-go acknowledged that a minimum requirement of 20 overs per side not only could have qualified the game, but was part of the rules for weird weather! What, too Allen Stanford-like?

This is clearly wasted cricket from the beginning – first if you leave then stay out, suddenly you can come & go as you please like our Draughts champ; no food then bring food; no drinks then carry water but open; no noise then bring your music… Make up your bloody minds! So much for logos too, I saw in the papers there were two occasions when Digicel shirts managed to fly through and on white folk as well, makes you wonder if anybody black would have dared to try and get away with it… LMAO, Only In The CaribbeanOITC, huh?

The B’dos Advocate has been very candy-coated in their coverage, but a South African official is very careful in showing where his thinking lies –

Executive Director of ICC CWC 2003 in South Africa, Dr. Ali Bacher, concurred with the former ICC president. ?The main legacy will be that of the grounds. I?ve been to the West Indies on many occasions and it staggered me that, with ordinary grounds and practice facilities, you have produced all these brilliant world-class cricketers through the years.

?This is going to be the legacy – these beautiful, new cricket grounds.

?I?ve been to Kensington Oval in Barbados and it?s beautiful. Grenada is lovely and here in St. Lucia as well,? said Bacher?

Please note at no time was he talking about the game, not a word about the way it was played or carried out in general! The Nation (on the horns of a dilemma, they’re the official magazine for ICC, so if ICC says print it, then the Nation must publish it) on one hand is looking to be a diplomat and the next let Barbadians and visitors be the villains; first here’s the take on the hundreds of millions wasted spent – That makes it okay then, to foist the bill on either my children or grandchildren (if I am so blessed)? OITC!

…two senior economists, Sir Courtney Blackman and Charles Skeete, both former Barbados Ambassadors in Washington …. were quick to say it would be unwise for anyone to expect that the championship would pay for itself in the short run.


it should be viewed as a challenging effort that could bring dividends years, even decades from now.

future success would depend on how Barbados and its neighbours exploit the marketing and other opportunities they created for themselves and how they cooperate with each other on future projects, Sir Courtney and Skeete insisted.

So we join hands with Montreal in taking three decades to repay a debt for a sporting match? It is not only bloggers and reporters who are vexed over the clearly wasted cricket, there are fans sounding furious over the dirty deeds – do they signify anything, or is it a shot in the dark?

Australia celebrated a victory twice. The fans of Australia and Sri Lanka did not know what was going on. It was poor that Kensington did not have any lights; even the closing ceremony was in darkness, it seems it was only meant for those in the president’s box,” said one fan who did not give their name.

Sri Lankan fan Neil Singh of Trinidad said it was unfair because it took away from the spirit of the game.

Mike Smith of Australia said it was a good game but it was a bit confusing.

Barbadian Troy Lokey said it would have been good to have light and he hopes that when the work at Kensington is finished this would be rectified.

I guess there is a reason why they couldn’t afford to put the lights in and hopefully when they do some renovations they would include some lights.

Englishman Gerald Smith described the situation as very sad, and George Russell another Barbadian who was happy with the Australian victory, agreed that Kensington should have lights.

Fans who had tickets and head to leave early were forced to sell tickets at a quarter of what they paid, rather than see them go to waste… I was lucky to get a cap and bag for under forty bucks, Abed’s waited one day too late for a Half Price SaleCave Shepherd were running theirs since Wednesday! If you bought a shirt for 45 U$ during the Super 8’s, then that was your bum luck! OITC!

What about the time it took to reach this stage? A British paper reflected what many Caribbean & International fans thought all along –

Playing just one match a day, especially during much of the group stage, dragged things out. The broadcasters wanted to show every game on its own and they paid good money for that right. But the ICC should have ensured the TV deal did not come at the price of turning people away from the game.

Speed has been fighting criticism for weeks now and had gone on the record to say: I think the length of the tournament is about right“.

Now he admits: “We listen to criticism. And there has been a lot of it from people saying it’s been too long, so we’ll look to make it shorter. We’ll seek to reduce this 47-day World Cup by seven or 10 days, and hopefully we’ll get it down to somewhere between five and six weeks next time.

Ticket pricing may have been an issue. It would have been great if every one of the stadia had been full for every match, but that has not happened.”

As if that is not enough, here’s another Independent view –

Matters did improve in Barbados and Grenada during the second half of the Super Eights, when the local population were allowed in for free after 11am, but by then the damage had been done. Cricket followers on television had watched too many matches with only a scattering of spectators in attendance. A major event had turned into a side-show. Money may allow the ICC to invest in many things but it cannot buy the devotion of a 12-year-old boy. He knows a bum deal when he sees one.

The ICC, the Local Organising Committees and the Global Cricket Corporation are currently blaming each other for the prohibitive ticket pricing policy. They are all culpable but ultimately it was the ICC’s responsibility. This is, after all, the ICC Cricket World Cup.

Whoever decided on ticket prices of between US$25-100 (?12.50 to ?50) must either be on a cut of the profits or have little idea of what an average West Indian earns. In Guyana, the price of a ticket was equivalent to two weeks’ wages, so it was little wonder that the ground was barely a quarter full for most of the matches.

The restrictive measures put in place within the grounds did little to encourage those who could afford the admission price. Spectators were allowed to take only limited food into the grounds and plastic bottles had to have their tops removed. Alcohol could not be brought in and there were none of the vendors who usually sell their food and drinks within the grounds. Only accredited stall holders were allowed in and they could only sell, at inflated prices, the products of those companies which have contacts with the ICC.

Sadly, far from being a sticky wicket this Clearly Wasted Cricket fiasco is one that is more slippery than a greasy pole! John Fitzgerald Kennedy may have uttered that success has many fathers and failure only one, but where does the finger rest in this blame game and once pointed – what is the punishment, or is there one? OITC!

What can we do? Who do we sue? Who pays the piper? Where does the buck really stop? Here’s another “W” to look for in the next few days – Woolmer, the poor devil’s killer may be unearthed and used to draw attention away from this other sordid mess!

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.


add a comment

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.