Almost ready

Sometime next week, the major stands at Kensington Oval, the field, media centre, scoreboards and lights will be ready to be handed over to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the forthcoming T20 World Cup.

That’s the word from chairman of the National Organising Committee (NOC), Noel Lynch, who made this disclosure on Monday morning at a press conference hosted by Cricket West Indies at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill, St Michael.

Lynch noted that the World Cup final in June was 80 days away and the partial handover of the Oval was seven days away.

“On the eastern concourse where there is the Party Stand and the temporary facility, and all those facilities that are coming in, we are sure we will hand over those on April 30, but we will hand over the major parts, the Three Ws, the Greenidge and Haynes Stand, media centre, the field of play, scoreboards, all of the electronic boards, lights will be finished in a week and handed over. That’s ahead of schedule.

“I think Barbados has done an exceptional job. It wasn’t my job. When I came back from the United States, we were already far advanced in terms of the progress, the infrastructural progress at Kensington Oval.’’ 

Lynch added that more than 2 000 Barbadians had already bought tickets for the World Cup.

“Everything that we have done in this World Cup since we took over this role is led by data and data analytics. We do not guess at what we do; there is no gut feeling. Everything we do is driven by data.

“Therefore, I know how many tickets were bought already. I can tell you 2 127 Barbadians have already bought tickets for the World Cup. If you have bought a ticket with an American credit card, I might not know it is a Barbadian, but I know you have bought a ticket,’’ he said.

He reiterated that Barbadians should not be disadvantaged coming to Kensington Oval in relation to tickets.

“The ticket situation must be fixed. Barbadians understand manual box offices. The guy that does not have a smartphone is aged out, timed out or scienced out, but must still believe he or she has access to Kensington Oval to watch these matches. If you go to Queen’s Park or Bank Hall on a Saturday, you must feel you can get into this stadium to watch the World Cup. It is our World Cup in our backyard.’’

The former minister of tourism said the role of the NOC, comprising 42 entities, was to ensure Barbados could exact the optimum benefit from hosting the June 1-29 event.

“It means ultimately that if a Barbadian citizen does not feel he or she is exacting some benefit, they go away with a bad taste in their mouths and that is what happened in the 2007 World Cup and, to some measure, in the 2010 World Cup. Prime Minister [Mia] Mottley is intent on ensuring that that not be the legacy of this World Cup.

“What we want to ensure is if you are Barbadian and you are front line in the actions leading up to this World Cup, then you can exact a benefit. If you are not front line, we want to ensure you receive a legacy benefit coming out of the World Cup,” he said.

Lynch announced that in the next week, there would be a Cricket World Cup app. He said anyone using a cell phone, whether it be android or iPhone, can get the Barbados version of a Cricket World Cup app. It will contain info on hotel bookings and a link to purchase tickets.

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