Barbadian officials are ???pulling out all the stops’ to ensure the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Twenty20 tournament, to be staged in the region next year will be successful.

This was asserted recently by President of the Barbados Cricket Association, (BCA) Joel Garner who disclosed that all the criteria for staging the tournament had been met.

He said: "There was a bidding process much like 2007, but not as involved. The event is being managed by a Local Organising Committee.?? The BCA is part of the Organising Committee and made the bid on behalf of the West Indies Cricket Board in order to be able to have the games here. But, we could not have done it without the participation of the Government because there were some guarantees that were necessary in terms of customs, immigration, and those sort of things and the role of the BCA was to partner with Government to get everything moving."

This was further underscored by Project Support Leader of the Local Organising Committee, Vancourt Rouse, who explained: "The ICC …wanted to understand how we would accommodate the teams and the officials here and there are some guarantees with respect to the cost of accommodation within the summer period. There are some guarantees with respect to how teams would be facilitated at the Grantley Adams [International] Airport and how immigration, and the customs process would flow. These are really very normal processes that we follow for any major event now, so the guarantees were not all onerous and certainly don’t compare with the 2007 event at all."

He surmised that the process was very simple this time around. "We certainly did not have to prepare a 400 page bid-book like we did in 2004. In this case, the ICC, through the West Indies Cricket Board, asked countries in the Caribbean to indicate interest and those countries that were interested submitted a number of documents," he stated.

Mr. Rouse further outlined that aspects of the agreement included "a number of Government guarantees associated with hosting this type of event and [the provision of] a budget; … that would help them to understand the cost in this location and some of the plans we have for embellishing the tournament."

He pointed out that unlike the 2007 World Cup, there were no guarantees with respect to vehicles or Sunset Legislation.

The international event will see 12 of the world’s premier teams competing in a limited overs version of cricket’s most exciting game. The BCA President pointed out that there will be associate members, with teams that had already qualified. He added: "But there is also a Women’s World Cup… and we’re going to be playing the finals here in Barbados, while the women’s tournament is being played in St. Kitts. You’ll have the women’s finals [at Kensington Oval] during the day and then the men’s finals during the afternoon, so it will be a double-header."

In order to successfully stage the cricket fixture, Mr. Garner said the BCA also had to ensure practice areas were within close proximity to the stadium. ??"We had to have grounds [within] a one-mile radius of Kensington Oval and the hospital has to be the same distance". He added that they were hoping that the grounds at Police, Carlton,?? BET and Wanderers would be used by the teams for practice sessions.

The ICC Twenty20 cricket matches will be held in four Caribbean destinations from April 30 to May 16. Barbados, St. Lucia and Guyana will host the men’s games; while St. Kitts will be the venue for the women’s tournament. Tickets can be booked online or at the centres provided.

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