Caribbean leaders promised to speed up planning for the 2007 Cricket World Cup after eight Caribbean countries were chosen to host matches.
updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
St. George's, Grenada:Caribbean leaders promised to speed up planning for the 2007 Cricket World Cup after eight Caribbean countries were chosen to host matches. Grenada's Prime Minister Keith Mitchell said on Monday at the region's annual summit that governments must especially focus on improving air travel. There are few direct flights between islands in the Caribbean. Officials are discussing using charter flights, ferries and cruise ships to transport players, tourists and journalists during the month-long tournament. Outside help Officials are also considering asking United States and British airlines to increase flights in the region during the tournament. Mitchell, who heads a committee of four Prime Ministers overseeing planning for the World Cup, said officials also needed to assess security, health care, emergency services, immigration and customs in the eight countries. Mitchell said Grenada would spend about US $15 million to upgrade its Queens Park stadium. New hosts St. Kitts Prime Minister Denzil Douglas, whose country's bid had been considered a long shot, said his government would spend US $15 million to build a new stadium in capital Basseterre. St. Kitts has never hosted a major international match. Guyana has said it will spend US $20 million to build a new playing field, and other countries have announced similar plans. Fifty-one matches will be played in as many days during the tournament, in which 16 teams will participate. The 2007 edition will be held from February to April, but dates have yet to be finalized. The West Indies, which won the first two World Cups in England in 1975 and 1979, is hosting it for the first time.