Caribbean Stadiums in Crisis
Mon, Jun 9, '03
republished from BBC SPORT
The man in charge of the 2007 World Cup says the two most famous grounds in the Caribbean -- Kensington Oval in Barbados and Jamaica's Sabina Park -- are unfit to stage matches.
Chris Dehring, chief executive of Windies World Cup, said refurbishment plans are around two years behind schedule and he believes it will cost several millions of dollars was needed to get them ready in time.
"You are talking about two countries which have been so-called traditional venues of international cricket in the Caribbean," he told the Sunday Sun newspaper in Barbados.
"Yet, because of their status as traditional venues, very little, or certainly not enough, has been done to improve the quality of their stadiums over the last 40 years.
Dehring said the best venues are now in the less traditional centres of the Eastern Caribbean - St Lucia, Antigua, St Vincent and Grenada.
"They have new facilities and purpose-built cricket stadiums," he explained. "That's one area where both Jamaica and Barbados have fallen behind.
"I think it's quite sad when you think about the tradition of cricket in Barbados where you have Kensington Oval, which the Barbadians refer to as the Mecca.
"I ask myself if this is the Mecca, why hasn't an investment befitting a Mecca taken place in Barbados over the last 30 years?"
Dehring did, however, concede that it should not be too hard to start from scratch to rebuild stadiums.
"The beauty about it is that there is really no country that is absolutely ready, so, this is a green field," he said.
"You don't have these massive infrastructures you would have to move out of the way to put the World Cup infrastructure.
"It really is an opportunity to put in place exactly what we want."
He dismissed reports in the Barbados Nation suggesting the International Cricket Council (ICC) was looking at alternative venues to host cricket's biggest tournament.
"All of the television rights have been sold all around the world," he said. "I don't think it could be disbanded even if the ICC wanted to, and the ICC and the Caribbean have no intention of walking away from the exciting challenge of the World Cup in the West Indies."
* SOURCE: BBC Sport.