World Cup 2007 May 28, 2004

Queen's Park Oval gets a thumbs-up

Wisden Cricinfo staff

The Queen's Park Oval, one of 11 venues in line to host matches during the 2007 World Cup, has been given the thumbs-up by the International Cricket Council's Venue Assessment Team ,which is currently in the Caribbean. The 13-member team includes Chris Dehring, managing director of the 2007 World Cup. The group started their evaluation on Monday, and had already visited St Lucia, St Vincent and Grenada prior to landing in Trinidad.

Willie Rodriguez, president of the Queen's Park Oval Club, said that the team left the venue satisfied with what they had seen. "At this early stage, it is fair to say that the presentation was very commendable," he said. "We had a clip from Tourism and Industrial Development Company that gave us a broad span of what Trinidad and Tobago is all about, and it was quite impressive. The walk around the Oval was also met with very positive responses. So at this early stage, I think it is fair to say that they are quite satisfied with what they have seen."

Rodriguez, a former Test legspinner who has also been a selector and manager of the West Indian team, added that he expected the stadium facilities to be further improved - the Geddes Grant Stand will be replaced by a new structure later this year, and the famous Trini Posse Stand would also be rebuilt. The pavilion is also set to be refurbished, and Rodriguez said that there would be a vote on whether to admit female members at the end of June.

The ICC team also met Roger Boynes, the sports minister, and David O'Brien, chairman of the Technical Bid Committee. Boynes once again reiterated Trinidad and Tobago's preparedness to host the event. "As they go about verifying our capabilities, I want to let them know that they will be exposed to the culture, food, beautiful people, that makes us unique in the world," he said. "We are ready, we are opening our arms to the entire team, as we prepare to lay the foundation for World Cup 2007 in the region and in particular Trinidad and Tobago."

Dehring was also confident about West Indies' ability to host the tournament. "The types of presentation and the level of preparedness the countries have demonstrated so far speak volumes for the kind of work that has gone in," he said. "And I believe that we are the best prepared region to have hosted the World Cup."

The evaluation will span two months, and the ICC will announce on July 4 which countries have been given the right to host World Cup matches. The awarding of individual fixtures will be done in Montego Bay on July 13.