With the beginning of Twenty20 West Indies 2010 tournament on the way, The Muffin Post contacted Mr. Clement OGarro, Corporate Communications officer, for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Venue Office in St. Kitts-Nevis for more insight about the tournament.
ICC Twenty20 2010 Venue Director in St. Kitts-Nevis, Clement 'Monarch' OGarro
TMP: Mr. OGarro, for the benefit of our readers, some who may not know about cricket, what is Twenty20 West Indies 2010, and what are the nations competing in the games?
OGarro: ICC WT20 WEST INDIES 2010 is the third staging of this tournament. It is the shortest version of the game with each team facing twenty 6 ball overs. The last tournament was held in England with Pakistan winning the men’s version and England taking the women’s trophy.
This year the men’s tournament features Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Australia in Group A. Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and Zimbabwe in Group B. South Africa, India, and Afghanistan in Group C. West Indies, England, and Ireland in Group D.
The women’s teams are England, Australia, West Indies, and South Africa in Group A and New Zealand, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in Group B.
TMP: There are four nations playing host to Twenty20 West Indies 2010, including Guyana, St. Lucia, Barbados, and St. Kitts-Nevis. What factors contributed to these venues as hosts over other cricketing venues in Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and Antigua & Barbuda?
OGarro: This was done by a bidding process and recommendations to the ICC from the West Indies Cricket Board. In the end Hotel capacity, past hosting experience, available practice and warm-up venues as well a safety and security were some of the overriding factors.
TMP: From what we gathered St. Kitts-Nevis will be hosting the female leg of the tournament at Warner Park. Tell us more about the teams expected to compete at Warner Park and their schedule?
OGarro: Warner Park St Kitts will play host to the first round stage of the female tournament. There are eight teams competing for a chance to move on to the semi-finals in St Lucia. The games are scheduled for May 5-10 with two games per day at 10 AM and 2 PM.
May 5: West Indies vs. South Africa 10 AM. England vs. Australia 2 PM.
May 6: Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan 10 AM. New Zealand vs. India 2 PM.
May 7: Australia vs. South Africa 10 AM. England vs. England 2 PM.
May 8: India vs. Pakistan 10 AM. New Zealand vs. Sri Lanka 2 PM.
May 9: England vs. South Africa 10 AM. Australia vs. West Indies 2 PM.
May 10: New Zealand vs. Pakistan 10 AM. India vs. Sri Lanka 2 PM.
TMP: The first settlements for the British and French in the West Indies were established in St. Kitts-Nevis in 1624 and 1625 respectively, and as such, the twin islands are very much at the forefront of the history of the Caribbean region, and the Americas, is Warner Park part of that history? When did games begin there?
OGarro: Warner Park has a storied history, hence the name has remained even though there have been many calls for it to be re-named after a local hero. History indicates that the land where the stadium is situated was donated to St Kitts by the Warner family. Thomas Warner was the first Governor for the British in St. Kitts and the Leeward Islands. Though the debate rages on, the Federal Government has taken the suggestions of its citizens into consideration when it renamed the Media Center, the Netball Complex and the Players Pavilion in December of 2009. Warner Park has existed for many decades but was brought up to International standards in 2006 (during the tour of of India vs. West Indies) prior to hosting one of the first round zones of the 2007 World Cup.
TMP: Warner Park has been modernized to accommodate international cricket. Can you tell us more about the modernization project, the financing of it, and the seating capacity of the venue?
OGarro: As stated before the modernization of Warner Park was facilitated to host matches for the 2007 World Cup. This phase included a modern Media Center, now called the CAP Southwell Media Center, the Calvin Wilkin Players Pavilion which accommodates the dressing rooms and two Suites. Stands A, B, C, and D in the south of the stadium also accommodate 16 VIP Boxes. There are two mound areas and also a Party Stand which sits right next to the Replay Screen and a modern Scoreboard. For the hosting of the ICC WT20 WEST INDIES 2010 matches, a third and fourth dressing room were constructed in the Pam Wall Netball Complex to accommodate 4 teams playing on the same day. There are also several offices, a medical facility and meeting rooms. The financing for the stadium was done by the Government of St Kitts Nevis with assistance from the Republic of China on Taiwan. The seating capacity of the stadium is 8000.
TMP: Beyond the cricket itself, what are some of the activities planned for visitors to the Federation during the games?
OGarro: Besides the cricket, visitors to St Kitts are encouraged to savor the breathless beauty of the twin island Federation, through its food, music, and historical sites. Tours have been arranged to take the short ferry ride over to Nevis and there would be live music not only in the stadium but also downtown Basseterre on the weekend of the games. Brimstone Hill Fortress will be the site of many visits and patrons are expected to rally round the teams on The Strip in Frigate Bay where locals and visitors will meet after the games.
During the games patrons would be entertained by a 26 piece All Star Steelband playing the national anthems of all participating countries. DJ Ronnie Rascal will also be on hand to provide the “BRING IT” posse with musical entertainment all day long. 65 anthem kids would accompany each team on the field during the Anthem ceremony.
TMP: What is the contact information for the four hosting venues?
OGarro: The local ICC Venue Office in St Kitts-Nevis can be contacted at 869-466-8713; Barbados: 246-247-1109; St Lucia: 758-450-9470; Guyana: 592-227-7506.
TMP: Is there anything else you would like to add?
OGarro: We want fans to “Bring the fun” to matches but do it in a safe way! And once again let me echo the theme of the tournament “Bring your biggest cheers! Bring your loudest noisemakers! Bring your most outrageous costumes!”
It’s time for the ICC World Twenty20 West Indies 2010. Consider this an invitation from some of the craziest cricket supporters in the world to you. You call yourself a cricket fan? Then get your tickets now and be prepared to “Bring It.”