Wednesday 27th December, 2006

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Wonderful moment for the Caribbean

Cricket-playing people of the Caribbean and their thousands of followers face the biggest-ever challenge in the region’s sporting history next year—the International Cricket Council’s Cricket World Cup.

It is a challenge of Herculean proportion, both on and off the field; in essence, a test of our capacity to organise and survive the vicissitudes that are part of life and living.

The World Cup involves planning, organisation, construction and complexities of endeavour that span a wide spectrum never before achieved by the region’s sporting administrators.

How are we meeting these challenges?

The picture has begun to unfold that promises, when completed, an unbelievable achievement by those given the overall task of getting the job done and those in each of the participating countries and their Caribbean Commonwealth neighbours, who have contributed in large and small ways towards showing the world that Caribbean people are capable of much more that song and dance.

Governments throughout the Caribbean have been drawn closer because they have had to consult with each other, to assist those in need in doing the task set out for them in the schedule of matches and in the framing of laws to accommodate the thousands of worldwide visitors expected to flood the Caribbean as never before seen in any one period.

These new laws involving immigration, customs and free movement will see the Caribbean drawing so much closer to being one entity, a goal envisaged for 75 years in the disparate countries.

The success of hosting the World Cup will not only enhance the Caribbean’s image on the world stage, but will stimulate the West Indies team on the field itself.

Captain Brian Lara, even allowing for his sometimes overwhelming pronouncements of hope, is not a man whose words are to be taken lightly. And the Prince of Port-of-Spain says that West Indies’ chances of winning the World Cup for the third time are as good as any team.

They are really, in spite of up and down performances over recent years. The success of our preparations for the World Cup will, in itself, be a fillip for Lara and his men and those who marshall the team’s skill and ensure its fitness.

This newspaper is sanguine that the West Indies cricket team, and West Indies sport in general, are on the threshold of marvellous things that will astound the world.

The World Cup in its making could be the beginning of great things for a people of great potential in the arts and in sport.

Make no mistake, the Caribbean will be a far better place as its people—its sportsmen and sportswomen, and particularly its administrators, whose experience, gained in the biggest enterprise of their lives—will carry over to the good of these wonderful islands in the sun and the wonderful, creative people who live in them.

A word of caution: Everyone of us has “a part to play” as calypsonian Valentino tells us, in the World Cup enterprise. We must show off our islands in all ways, as cheerful, helpful, friendly people and as sportsmen supreme, taking the good and the bad in stride and coming up again, ready for the good fight.

©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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