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Diverse benefits from the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022

The investments of host countries in the ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022 will bear abundant rewards, financially and otherwise, for years to come.

This has been a recurrent theme as Tournament Director Fawwaz Baksh and other members of the venue inspection team have traversed the region over the past two weeks, reviewing progress across the four host venues. Whether it’s the economic windfall from which the four nations – and various service providers – will benefit, or the infrastructural enhancement of pitches, grounds and club facilities, the event’s legacy is set to be very positive.

Addressing dignitaries and media at the Host Venue Announcement at Warner Park, St. Kitts, on Monday, Baksh noted that hosting the event next month will leave Cricket West Indies (CWI) with greater options for hosting international matches.

“This tournament supports CWI’s strategic plan to develop facilities across the region. By the end…we will have 21 world-class facilities,” he revealed, citing a growing number of sport-events professionals as another positive result of more global events coming to the Caribbean.

Chairman of Trinidad and Tobago’s Local Organising Committee for the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup, Douglas Camacho, focused on this point too in his personal remarks, listing new covers, nets, balls and grounds equipment – as well as the building and renovation of dressing rooms and clubhouses – as tangible benefits for community clubs. Speaking at last week’s Host Venue Announcement at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad, he stated such gains were important for grassroots organisations which are vital in the development of youth cricket, but which could not always afford the modern amenities needed.

Delivering the feature speech earlier on behalf of Minister of Sport and Community Development, the Honourable Shamfa Cudjoe, Camacho highlighted the tournament’s direct economic boost.

“Many of our industries will benefit from this opportunity from hotel arrangements, transportation, the exchange of goods and services that will help build our economy. While we would have invested an estimated US$1.8 million, the return is much greater as we anticipate that this will bring an estimated US$10 million injected back into our economy,” he said, adding that “high media coverage” will also uplift the country’s tourism-destination profile.

Meanwhile, CWI President Ricky Skerritt thanked host governments for their commitment to fulfilling all tournament guarantees, despite tough financial times triggered by the pandemic.

“I understand how hard it has been…and I want to say thank you for pushing because it’s not always easy, in the midst of so many other priorities, for governments to understand why you would invest thousands of dollars into cricket.

“You are doing it because it’s good investment. It’s been proven, over and over again, that the return on investment is excellent. It’s good for tourism. It’s good for youth development and it’s good for the economy,” said Skerritt, speaking at Warner Park.

Skerritt’s comments were welcomed by St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Honorable Jonel Powell, who noted “the investments in our facilities (and) in our people...ensure we maximise on the opportunities for our young developing cricketers, the opportunities for all the service providers that are required to host these events, and for us to be able to showcase St Kitts as a true sport-tourism destination”.

 The ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022 takes place in Antigua & Barbuda, Guyana, St. Kitts & Nevis, and Trinidad & Tobago, from January 14 to February 5, 2022, featuring 16 participating nations in 48 matches. Host team, West Indies, start their title quest on January 14 against Australia at Guyana National Stadium while reigning champions, Bangladesh, begin their defence versus England on January 16 at Warner Park, St. Kitts.