Speed predicts World Cup problems
The ICC chief expects logistical issues during the Caribbean hosted event.
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2007 11:23 GMT

West Indian batsman Chris Gayle doesn't appear to be having an logistical issues on the field [EPA]

Malcolm Speed, International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive, has admitted that staging the upcoming World Cup on nine different Caribbean islands is a huge task for organisers of the event which begins in mid-March, and has called for understanding when problems arise.
"There will be logistical problems, everyone knows that," Speed told Reuters at the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament.
"There will be times when for one reason or another the arrangements are criticised in the media.

"I think we need to bear in mind the size of the undertaking of playing a major sporting event in nine countries.

"Each country is different to each other, they do very little together but have all come together to host this World Cup," Speed added.

The cricket chief acknowledged transportation would be a major issue during the tournament which runs from March 13 to April 28, in Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Antigua, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and St Kitts and Nevis.

"The issues of getting people to the next country are difficult but there are people who have been working on it for several years now and we hope to have very few problems," said Speed.

"Players and officials will be going on charter flights so that should not be a problem. There will be problems for spectators as it is difficult to get about the Caribbean on normal commercial flights."

Impressive venues

A computer image of Kensington Oval, Barbados
- venue for the World Cup final [GALLO/GETTY]

Speed will be in Trinidad later in the week attending the ICC's final pre-World Cup board meeting, and was optimistic about the cricket facilities in the West Indies being complete and in full working order well in time for the first ball to be bowled.

"It seems all the venues are on track, the grounds will be excellent," said the 58 year-old.

"They are working very hard to get the pitches and the playing fields up to standard.

"I am quite confident the work that's gone into the planning for the venues has been outstanding and that anyone who goes to these venues will be very impressed with what they see."

The opening match of the 2007 World Cup is between hosts the West Indies and Pakistan in Jamaica on March 13, with the final to be played on April 28 in Barbados.

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