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World Cup 2007 final to be held at Barbados

Published: Wednesday, July 14, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Jamaica:Barbados will host cricket's 2007 World Cup final at the Kensington Oval, organisers announced.

Chris Dehring, managing director of International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup West Indies 2007 Inc., opened the envelope at the Ritz-Carlton resort and announced the news.

"Certainly one of the most impressive countries on our host venue verification tour and the country that we are asking to bring it all home and to leave that lasting footprint on the ICC World Cup 2007 - Barbados," Dehring said.

The Barbadian delegation, led by Chris de Caires, chairman of World Cup Barbados Inc., were invited on stage to accept the crystal goblet presented to all eight host venues during the presentation of the venues.

In Bridgetown, Barbados' Prime Minister Owen Arthur and cricket legend Sir Garfield Sobers, as well as other former Barbados and West Indies cricket stars, along with Government and cricket officials watched the announcement - broadcast live on radio and television around the Caribbean - on giant television screens.

"I charge the whole country to mobilise itself over the next three years to get Barbados ready to make 2007 a date with destiny and a date that will live on as a glorious chapter in the history of this island," remarked Prime Minister Arthur in a brief television address to the nation following the announcement.

"I believe Barbadians are soaring on new wings of pride, but they are also humbled by the awesome responsibility that now falls to us to showcase the Caribbean in a new and unique way as a world-class civilization."

In all, Barbados will stage seven matches. The hosts of the final will also stage six matches in the quarter-finals, also known as the Super Eight League, which consists of three of the six most competitive matches at this stage of the competition.

The semi-finals have been allocated to Jamaica, where the headquarters of the ICC World Cup WI 2007 Inc. is located, and St. Lucia, whose Darren Sammy recently became the first cricketer from the banana- producing island to have logged an international match to his credit.

West Indies, England, India and Australia were assigned to separate match packages in the preliminary round.

As a result, Jamaica will also stage the opening ceremony and the opening match of the competition that is likely to involve West Indies, whose group will be contested at Kingston's famous Sabina Park.

St. Lucia, whose ultra-modern Beausejour Stadium in the tourist resort town of Gros Islet has propelled it into the mainstream of international cricket, will also play host to matches in the preliminary group that contains England.

Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago, which currently has the largest seating capacity of all the major cricket arenas in the Caribbean will host matches in the preliminary group that involves India.

After being surprisingly picked as one of the eight host venues, St. Kitts and Nevis will stage the other preliminary group that comprises Australia at the reconfigured Warner Park in the capital Basseterre.

The other countries to stage Super Eight matches, along with Barbados are Antigua and Barbuda, where the headquarters of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is located, plus Grenada and Guyana on the South American continent.

Sadly, the famous Antigua Recreation Ground (ARG) in St. John's, where current West Indies captain and batting star Brian Lara has twice broken the world Test record for the highest individual score, will not be used.

Instead the Antigua and Barbuda Government plans to construct a new 25,000-seater stadium just outside of the capital with funds from the Chinese Government for the package of six matches that includes three of the most competitive Super Eight games.

Guyana too plans to construct a new 25,000-seater stadium just outside of its capital Georgetown with funds from the Indian Government to replace the famous Bourda Oval that has seen some of the most titanic battles.

The new Queen's Park Stadium, located in the heart of Grenada's capital St. George's, will like some of the other major venues be significantly upgraded to cater for the influx of people at the tournament.

Match venues: -- Preliminary Round

VENUE 1 (hosts West Indies' matches, plus Opening Ceremony and Opening Match): Jamaica

VENUE 2 (hosts England's matches): St. Lucia

VENUE 3 (hosts India's matches): Trinidad and Tobago

VENUE 4 (hosts Australia's matches): St. Kitts and Nevis

Quarter-finals

VENUE 5 (hosts three of the biggest Super Eight matches): Antigua and Barbuda

VENUE 6 Grenada

VENUE 7 Guyana

VENUE 8 (hosts three of the biggest Super Eight matches): Barbados

Semi-finals

Same as VENUE 1: Jamaica

Same as VENUE 2: St. Lucia

Final

Same as VENUE 8: Barbados

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