Stung by criticism that the World Cup has been robbed of most of its Caribbean flavour by strict regulations, the local organising committee (LOC) in Barbados have hit back by announcing that restrictions would be eased at the Kensington Oval.
Stephen Alleyne, the CEO of the LOC told reporters that matches in Barbados would be closer to tradional "calypso cricket" than has been the case so far. He said that measures were being put in place so that music and food could flow more freely. For example, he said people bringing musical instruments would get clearance at the gate on the day of the game, rather than having to get permission beforehand.
In a break with the official line, which has continued to insist the tournament is running smoothly, Alleyne admitted that things had not gone so well at other venues. He also said that some matches at the Oval were not sold out, mainly because sponsors had not taken up their allocations, and that spare tickets would be made available free of charge to local children. Furthermore, he hinted that ticket prices might be reduced "to encourage more folk in" although that would need to be cleared with the ICC.
"We need to ensure that the environment is such that everybody in there, whether Barbadian, West Indian or from further afield, can get the chance to experience what it is like to be at a Caribbean Test match, or in this case at a Kensington Test match, and we are working with CWC and the ICC as we speak to get that balance right," he explained. "One of the things we are going to work to achieve is the bringing of musical instruments in - we're going to simplify that process. We're looking at how you can bring things like foodstuff and so on into the Oval [while] making sure there's clarity around those things."