'Let's Hear The Drum Rolls For ICC CWC 2007'

ICC Chief Executive, Malcolm Speed, has urged musicians and merry-makers, who traditionally entertain crowds at Caribbean cricket matches, to ‘bring in the noise’ for ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 matches. Speaking to Guyanese media during today’s England-Ireland Super 8 game in Georgetown, he again clarified the issue of musical instruments being brought to CWC matches. “There is a protocol to allow musical items (into venues). We want the Caribbean atmosphere to be here. “The measures that have been introduced are security measures and they are common for major sporting events all around the world. You would find very similar requirements,” he said listing various tournaments, such as the upcoming Masters golf championships, at which similar regulations would be in effect. “We don’t seek to take the West Indian flavour out of it. We want to hear that noise. We want to hear that enthusiasm.” Musicians are permitted to bring traditional (conch shells, shak shaks etc.) or other instruments into CWC stadia once they have been granted permission by the relevant Local Organising Committee (LOC). Today at Guyana National Stadium, for example, members of Raghu’s Tassa & Taja Band were in full cry in the stands, their rhythmic beat luring fans from their seats to dance at every opportunity. “We were invited to perform by the LOC. I’m always at cricket so I had to be here for Cricket World Cup,” said bandleader, Mangal Raghunandan. Meanwhile, Speed congratulated Guyana on delivering its part of ICC CWC 2007, noting the Providence site at which the new stadium is located has undergone an amazing transformation within two years. “Your country has much to be proud of. You have built an outstanding cricket ground in a very short period of time. I first came here about two years ago and the canefields had just been cleared and the playing surface had just been levelled. Nothing whatsoever had been built,” he recalled. Endorsing recent comments by CWC Venue Development Director, Donald Lockerbie, about the dedication and determination shown by the Guyana LOC to ensure that country did not renege on its share of CWC, Speed commended all involved in the effort for seeing it to fruition. He relayed a conversation which he had earlier this week, with persons watching the tournament from South Africa, to show just how much the Event has raised the profile of the Host Venues. “When I told them that I was at the match in Guyana they said ‘“Guyana looked great on television’. That’s a major benefit. They are seeing your country and what you can do here,” he noted. He observed that the Caribbean now has “a collection of five-star cricket grounds” (which), when put together, are as good as any other group of cricket grounds anywhere else in the world”. Speed also complimented the CWC VIBES programme which has trained 4,500 volunteers throughout the nine Host Venues. “One of the things that have impressed me most in Guyana has been the enthusiasm of your volunteers. All around the West Indies, volunteers have been called into action for the Cricket World Cup. Your volunteers have been friendly, well trained, welcoming and they are a credit to your country.” In closing, the ICC Chief Executive declared that he is looking forward to “more outstanding cricket…that does justice to the great work that Guyana has done in getting to this stage”.