Thursday 26 April 2007 

Legacy Of ICC CWC 2007 Likely To Reach Far And Wide

Former ICC President, Ehsan Mani, has described ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 as “absolutely wonderful”, noting that the exposure which this tournament has generated for the sport should help push cricket’s global development.

Speaking as he watched yesterday’s ICC CWC 2007 Semi-Final in Saint Lucia, he said that the ICC – cricket’s world-governing organisation – is “consciously trying to grow cricket around the world and the biggest medium to getting this message out there has been the television and media exposure which the game has had in countries such as China”.

The spectacle of this Event in the Caribbean being shown to billions of people worldwide has been “amazing” and could increase interest in the sport, added the Pakistani who stepped down from the ICC’s top post last July.

In addition, Mani said the legacy of CWC 2007 for the region will be the magnificent stadia which have been either built or almost completely refurbished for showpiece tournament.

“We see the superb infrastructure which probably wouldn’t have happened but for the Cricket World Cup. This has put the West Indies on the map in the cricket world,” he declared.

Executive Director of ICC CWC 2003 in South Africa, Dr. Ali Bacher, concurred with the former ICC president.

“The main legacy will be that of the grounds. I’ve been to the West Indies on many occasions and it staggered me that, with ordinary grounds and practice facilities, you have produced all these brilliant world-class cricketers through the years.

“This is going to be the legacy – these beautiful, new cricket grounds. I’ve been to Kensington Oval in Barbados and it’s a beautiful. Grenada is lovely and here in Saint Lucia as well,” said Bacher, who witnessed his Proteas wilt against the Australians.

Another legacy, he noted, will be the indelible memories that fans take home from their Cricket World Cup experience.

“The Caribbean is the most beautiful part of the world. I love being in the Caribbean. People here are friendly and very hospitable. It’s a great part of the world and visitors have had a fantastic time. Every South African will go back enthralled by the people, the warmth and the lovely countries. It’s a tourist destination par excellence and I’ll be back again,” said Bacher.

Meanwhile, ICC CWC 2007 Chairman, Kenneth Gordon, says a lot of compliments have been paid to another aspect of CWC’s legacy – the volunteers (CWC VIBES) who have worked diligently at matches in the nine Host Venues.

“People are very impressed by them. One comment that will stay with me for a long while came from visitors who wanted to know ‘where on earth did you get these people from? How long have you been training them?

“They have been excellent,” he said.