Caribbean preparing to bowl over world as ticket sales start for ICC World Twenty20 2010

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- ICC World Twenty20 West Indies 2010 may still be nearly six months away but the Caribbean is nearing “event mode”.

Tournament director, Mr. Robert Bryan, signalled this at the ICC WT20 West Indies 2010 Ticket Sales Launch at Kensington Oval in Barbados where the finals will be held on Sunday May 16 next year.

Presenting an update on a number of key tournament elements, he said: “This Ticket Sales Launch signals that the ICC WT20 is here and underscores the need for us to put the finishing touches to our preparations to ensure the tournament is executed in a manner that meets the standards of the ICC and its commercial partners, as well as to ensure the most tremendous spectator experience possible within the context of the unique West Indian environment and traditions.”

In his speech, Mr. Bryan highlighted the following developments as the West Indies moves towards hosting its second international cricket showpiece, having staged ICC Cricket World Cup in 2007:

·         The match schedule has now been finalised

·         All organising committees and planning committees are in place and working

·         The draft master security plan has been completed and is being reviewed

·         Medical planning mostly complete in all venues

·         Inspections of all match and practice venues and recommendations for remedial work have been shared with the stadium authorities and work continues to monitor implementation in a timely manner. Specifically the unique requirements for four dressing rooms have our focus and attention. We are now in design phase and expect to complete these in the required timeframes. Other cricket operations preparations are in an advanced stage of planning including the support staff structure required for the tournament

·         The volunteer programme has been largely finalised

·         Travel and accommodation arrangements are being finalised which will provide the final components of our transportation and VIP hospitality programmes

·         The process of selecting a regional marketing agency has been completed and an appointment is expected within the month of November

·         The concept for the ‘sportainment’ programme has been drafted and is in the process of consultation and finalisation towards approvals

“Before the end of the year we expect to finalise a lot of this planning phase and in 2010 we expect to test procedures to complete the planning phase,” the tournament director told guests at the cocktail reception and press conference in the Worrell, Weekes and Walcott Stand.

Meanwhile ICC Chief Executive, Mr. Haroon Lorgat urged fans worldwide not to miss out on what he anticipates will be an unforgettable and festive Twenty20 experience.

“This is the third edition of the ICC World Twenty20 and, I am every bit as excited and confident about its success as about the previous two. Tickets go on sale from November 1 and with a very reasonable and affordable pricing structure in place, we expect them to be snapped up very quickly. Already we have had many enquiries for these tickets,” he said.

“We want to see fans filling the party stands and enjoying the sights, sounds and fellowship of international cricket with a real West Indian feel.

“For the cricketing-loving people of the Caribbean, the ICC World Twenty20 2010 is a rare opportunity to view the world’s top cricketers – both men’s and women’s – performing at their best. The countdown to April 30 is on.”

In his speech, West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) President, Dr. Julian R. Hunte, said: “The process of selling tickets will define how well we are planning and naturally how well the tournament is received by fans in the Caribbean and around the world. The sale of tickets is one of the most effective and tangible barometers for measuring public excitement and expectation about a particular event or occasion.

“We anticipate that we will see that mounting goodwill borne out in the ticket sales, both regionally and internationally. Strong and speedy ticket sales will auger well for the match-day spectacle of packed stands with screaming spectators cheering every free hit and balls flying over the dugouts and out of the grounds.”

Dr. Hunte also pointed to the important transformation in the psyche of the Caribbean since 2007. “Not so long ago, the possibility of a world-class sporting event coming to our shores would have been considered at best a fanciful notion.

“Preparing diligently for our second international cricket tournament in less than three years with the confidence and professionalism of seasoned experts,” he said.