History is set to be made come November 9 when the West Indies will host its third International Cricket Council championship tournament, this time the Women’s World T20 and Guyana is ready.
Stabroek Sport sat down with local Media Facilitator John Ramsingh and Venues Manager Sabrina Panday as they detailed the preparation for the historic event on the local scene.
With only three countries hosting matches, Guyana is on that pristine list and will feature the National Stadium, Providence, which will be hosting a World Cup tournament for the third time since 2007.
The National Stadium will feature, apart from the actual matches, three warm up matches on November 4, 6 and 7 while Guyana will have its former international venue, Georgetown Cricket Club Ground, Bourda and the Everest Cricket Club as the other two facilities that will be hosting practice and net sessions for the teams.
This means that the three facilities will be up to ICC standard, having already closed its access to accommodate the upgrades.
Panday said that the National Stadium received “glowing grades” and needs only minor work.
As such, administratively and physically, Panday related that the Guyana is 90-95 percent prepared.
“[We are] pretty much prepared, I would say 90-95% but there is lots to do in such a short time because it is a history making tournament.
She added, “in the past the tournament would be hosted side-by-side with men but this year it is a stand-alone so we [are] creating history in so many ways.”
Some of these ground breaking records include the first time Providence will be hosting 16 matches in a month’s time and the first time the West Indies will be hosting a triple header among more.
The local venues manager explained the incentives of coming out, noting that the package is second to none.
Panday stated “It is a way of giving back for everyone to come and see with tickets starting as low as $500 GYD on the first day.”
Those prices include three matches on the first day as well as a star-studded concert with the likes of Shenseea and Patrice headlining the mega event while regional stars such as Tamika Marshall, Michelle `Big Red’ King and Jumo `Rubber Waist’ Primo will be performing each match day.
“Entertainment in the stands will be similar to CPL [Caribbean Premier League] with Tassa drums, steel pans and so and we are also showcasing our culture as well so it’s a nice entertainment package what we call ‘sportainment’,” Panday explained.
For the first time fans in the Caribbean will be able to see the best women teams in the world showcase their skills in the T20 format which, Panday acknowledged “is a very exciting format of the game and all the ladies will bring their A game.
“West Indies are the reigning champions and I would love for them to keep it here,” she added.
The team is currently sensitizing the public, having campaigned in Demerara and Berbice already and are set to hit the Cinderella County soon.
Panday stated that the hype is around the tournament not only for the women but the men are equally, if not more curious and excited to see if the women can play as well as or even better than their male counterparts.
As the quasi “Year of the Woman” enters the last quarter, Panday said this tournament certainly fits into it.
“We are definitely fitting in Year of Women, with women cricket picking up across the world and people gravitating to see the women perform and this tournament will only boost the sport’s popularity,” she declared.
Ramsingh said the tournament will be televised in over 100 countries with nearly 200 million people watching including the online presence streaming live from ICC and Star broadcast who is official broadcast.
Corporate sponsors have already signaled their compliance with Carib, MoneyGram, Republic Bank, Nissan and others coming on board.
Panday was also adamant about the entertainment aspect of the tournament which will see the first time the entire stadium will be fully internet ready so fans can be “Live and be part of the sport entertainment like spot a catch and do it live etc., and the winner will show up in the screen live.”