BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Cricket’s World governing body expects next year’s World Twenty20 Championship in the Caribbean to be far more successful than the 2007 World Cup.
Brian Murgatroyd, media manager for the International Cricket Council (ICC), believes there is clear evidence to suggest that the Championship to be staged between April 30 and May 16 in Barbados, St. Lucia, Guyana, and St. Kitts, will be a major success.
“From the ICC perspective, we are coming to a member territory, where there really is a great passion for and tradition in Twenty20 cricket,” said Murgatroyd, who has been globe trotting in the last few weeks promoting this year’s event in Britain.
“Obviously, the Stanford events over the last few years have generated a great deal of interest in the region, and as a result, there is a huge hunger for Twenty20 cricket here. We even saw it on Sunday at Queen’s Park Oval. It was the first Twenty20 International played in Trinidad.”
“There was a full house and the atmosphere was electric. The West Indies won the game which was great for the home fans and all the signs are there that we will have a great event in 2010, and it would be to the benefit of West Indies cricket and the World game.”
Murgatroyd explained that the ICC were comfortable returning to the Caribbean, since they have a clear insight about all of the venues where the matches will be staged, and are well aware that the regional personnel are all well-trained and knowledgeable in the management and staging of a global sport event.
“We are lucky in that we know all about the venues and their capabilities,” he said. “The infrastructure is already there, the people in the various countries will know all about staging a global event.
“Hopefully, we have learnt some valuable lessons from what took place two years ago, and I do not think anyone by the farthest stretch of the imagination would say [the World Cup] was an unqualified success.”
Murgatroyd acknowledged that the World Twenty20 is being staged for only the second time this year, and it needs to develop its own history and its own identity to sink into the minds of people.
But he indicated that the WICB were committed to do everything within its power to make sure the third edition next year will be great.
“Hopefully, from a local perspective, the West Indies can advance a fair distance in the event because I think it is always important in an event that the home team does particularly well because that tends to generate continued interest in that event,” he said.
“It’s all systems go for 2010. There is a tournament director in place and in charge of preparations, and the WICB is absolutely committed to making not only the men’s tournament, but also the women’s competition a success”.
This year’s World Twenty20 features one-dozen teams in the men’s competition, and eight teams in the women’s. It will be staged in June at Lord’s, The Oval, Trent Bridge, and Taunton.
The inaugural World Twenty20 took place in South Africa in September 2007.