March 12, 2007



It will be excitement like never seen throughout the Caribbean. ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 kicked off to a fantastic start on Sunday, March 11, 2007 at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium, Florence Hall, Trelawny, Jamaica. Many of us in the other islands were content with looking at the Extravaganza on our televisions. What a spectacle it was. The stars came out to shine as the best of the best artistes from around the region and beyond graced the stage. The performers were from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Jamaica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Ireland, and South Africa included: Alison Hinds, Arrow, Beres Hammond, Boogsie Sharp, Buju Banton, David Rudder, Dean Frazer, The Duffy Brothers (Ireland), Fay-Ann Lyons, Gregory Isaacs, Half Pint, The I Threes, Jimmy Cliff, Kevin Lyttle, Lucky Dube (South Africa), Machel Montano, Rupee, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Sly & Robbie.
It was a glorious night for which Caribbean people wherever they are should be justly proud. It seems definite that we will live up to our promise of producing the Best Cricket World Cup ever. Chris Dehring, CEO of ICC CWC 2007 described the coming together of the Caribbean people and their leaders as “unprecedented demonstration of unity and togetherness”.
The debate on the cost of hosting the tournament has not subsided but most of us are ready to conclude it is worth the effort. The true excellence of our Caribbean people will be seen around the world and the level of respect for our people wherever they find themselves will be enhanced.
This is our big break when the world will get to know us and experience our culture and our capabilities. It is going to be Hot! Hot! Hot!!! There could not have been a better time for such an event in the Caribbean, technology is on our side, we are going to be seen throughout the time zones of the world. There can be no greater exposure at this juncture and I am convinced that the legacy as it relates to tourism is secured. The world will want to experience our unique Caribbean Culture where there is never a dull moment even if the rain falls.

As I write this article the teams are arriving at their hotels and I rushed out to see the luxury buses and cars, being escorted by police outriders on spanking new motorcycles, even an ambulance was included in the escort party. With the arrival of the teams the momentum is building. The Division “C”teams from England, Canada, New Zealand and Kenya are based in St. Lucia.

There is going to be lots of fun. Every night there will be free entertainment at several venues in the North and other communities around the island. We are well prepared to ensure that our visitors receive such hospitality that will engender memories for a lifetime.

When the first round comes to an end on March 25, 2007, the next game will be the Semi Final on April 25, 2007, a break of one month. This gives us an opportunity to assess our performance and produce our best efforts in ensuring that we keep our promise as our capabilities will be truly tested at that time.

Cricket has an exciting future and a win for the West at this tournament will create a real legacy for the game as it will be a long time before another Cricket World Cup will grace our shores again. It important to note the recent success of 20/20 Cricket which was introduced by Sir Allen Stanford in the region has become internationally accepted and is poised to be adopted by non cricketing countries like the USA. At the end of the ICC CWC 2007 matches, I envisage the establishment of a Cricket Academy in every Caricom State. We must take a new approach to the business of cricket. There is too much at stake to continue to ignore such a powerful economic entity. Our young, promising cricketers must no longer be left on their own to chance. They must be nurtured with Discipline as the watch word.

Let us wish all the teams well but pray and Rally Round the West Indies so that they can be victorious and we can all conclude that the GLORY IS TRULY OURS!

As usual – Keep the Faith, God is in Charge, Expect Miracles in 2007!

Edward Harris
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