ORGANISERS from the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT) are confident that TT will benefit from the hosting of matches in the ICC (International Cricket Council) Under-19 Cricket World Cup, which will take place from January 14 to February 5.
Matches will be contested in Trinidad (Queen’s Park Oval, Brian Lara Cricket Academy and Diego Martin Sporting Complex), St Kitts, Antigua and Guyana.
During a virtual media conference on Tuesday, hosted by SPORTT, chairman Douglas Camacho said, “We wouldn’t be able to have spectators at attendance. While this is a downer for some, I don’t think this will impact upon the quality on the tournament itself or on the organisation that has been put in place.
“The (Trinidad) facilities, both for training and competitive matches, are world-renowned, world-class and the best of the best,” continued Camacho, who is also the chairman of the Local Organising Committee. “We are very confident that all the players, officials, attendees will have a wonderful experience, that would redown to the benefit of Trinidad and Tobago.”
ICC head of events, Chris Tetley also touched on the issue of the absence of spectators at the Trinidad venues.
“It’s always a bit disappointing when you can’t have fans at stadiums,” Tetley said. “The reasons for that are very well-understood. As it stands, only in Trinidad and Tobago we wouldn’t be able to have fans. Within the other countries, their regulations are slightly different.”
On the topic of vaccinated players, Fawwaz Baksh, the World Cup’s tournament director, mentioned, “We have covid protocols in place that captures people who are vaccinated and people who are unvaccinated. Everybody who has come into Trinidad who are over 18 are fully vaccinated.”
With regards to the bubble environment, Camacho said, “We are going to have the same sort of bubble approach that we took for the (2020 Caribbean Premier League). The (Trinidad) Hilton has the experience of hosting in a bubble-type arrangement. We do have contingency plans in the event that something should happen untoward.”
Kurtis Rudd, Tourism Trinidad Limited CEO, also spoke at the virtual presser.
“Despite being conducted in a bubble, with no spectators, due to the general anxiety and fears of covid19, there are economic benefits to be derived from the hosting of the (World Cup) such as revenue generation from hotel accommodation, transportation services, food and beverage, television coverage, advertising, health and medical services,” Rudd said.