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Waking up to the World Cup


The 2007 Cricket World Cup is around the corner, but like the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, its impact is not being felt across the nation. The seriousness of the venture has been spelt out in no uncertain manner before by relevant authorities.

But the message has not yet dawned on us. The interest in cricket has waned markedly, especially with the recent spate of dismal performances by the home team. Die-hard fans have given up hope of the West Indies lifting the trophy on their home soil. {{more}}What an injection of pride a West Indies win would instill in most of all Barbadians, where the final will be played, and indeed the rest of the Caribbean who dream of another World Cup triumph.

Getting to grips with the CSME is as much a problem as harnessing a proper unit to represent us on the field of play in cricket.

There are many important regional factors needed if the Caribbean is to take advantage of this World Cup. Some visionaries have grasped the significance of reducing the cumbersome immigration procedures that island hopping brings. St. Lucia sent officers to clear passports in Jamaica when English cricketers visited the region recently. Innovative steps will have to be exercised to cope with the influx of visitors that will descend on our shores.

Every Caribbean citizen has to play his or her role in the venture.

SVG has some strategic advantages. The Multi-island State is placed to accommodate the spectator who wants to keep in proximity to a number of destinations. Grenada to the south is less than half-hour by plane. St. Lucia to the North takes fewer minutes, and Barbados 100 miles to the east is within half an hour’s ride.

The trek to Trinidad further south of Grenada is still within manageable range for the average long distance traveler. And Guyana on the South American coast keeps a link that forms part of the archipelago.

The time is as good as ever for the farming community to embark on planting crops to ensure that they have a steady supply for years to come.

The region could do with any amount of fresh food over the next two years. It is an opportune time to plant.

Livestock farmers have to prepare for that onslaught. Fishermen and marine experts have to put measures in places to cater for sustainable provisions.

The service sector must show flexibility and every area will be stretched beyond imagination.

Time is going fast, and while we grapple with social problems, we have to prepare for the big event.

We are in an exciting region, known for ebullient flair. It has been manifested in our pattern of play, so much so that we play test cricket as if it were a One-Day International.

We must show professionalism in our cricket. The players have that obligation to the supporters who view, and listen to their performances as if their lives depended on it. The players and the Administrators don’t seem to appreciate that. The selectors treat the squad as if everything is up to chance, and team results appear as if they never mattered.

The staging of the World Cup will bring the best out in us, and we will have to overcome issues of parochialism to justify the requirements of such an affair.

The stage has already been set, the drama is about to begin; the foundation is taking shape. We have to play our part in the unfolding episode.

That entails a proactive approach to the endeavour which we have to embrace with pride.