Guyana leg of Women’s World T20 deemed a success
By Avenash Ramzan
There were challenges, but nothing that the Local Organising Committee (LOC) could not handle. In the end, fantastic on-field performances, backed by superb crowds beyond it made the Guyana leg of the Women’s World T20 a major success.
Guyana hosted 11 games spread over five days, in addition to a few warm-up matches. The tournament proper included a historic triple-header on the opening day, November 9.
The National Stadium at Providence was a hive of activity prior to and during the period November 9-17, and the Local Organising Committee had their work cut out in terms of getting the venue ready and ensuring all the logistics were in place.
Media Facilitator, John Ramsingh, in an exclusive interview with News Room, deemed the Guyana leg a major success, one that the country and the LOC should be proud of.
“Not only was it the first female standalone tournament, but for the first time it had a triple-header at Providence, and any part of the world that would take some amount of doing to get through,” Ramsingh said.
“We managed to get through and here we are, and because of all the hard work that was put in before (the matches), it was not so hard during the matches. (There were) lots of preparation and long hours before the tournament and it was just rewarding to see it up and running and thankfully we were blessed with good weather.”
Ramsingh further noted that hosting a global event is a tremendous undertaking, adding that the preparatory phase was a hectic one.
“First of all the women themselves preparing for a world tournament they were doing their thing, and as part of management we were doing everything we can as well to make it easy for them when they come to the tournament, so that they don’t have to worry about what else they have to do make this world event a great spectacle that everybody can gravitate to,” Ramsingh explained.
He continued, “I think the greatest challenge we had really was getting the diaspora and those at home as well to understand that this is a big tournament and you should support it, because not a lot of people are following the Women’s tournament. But when people realised the quality of cricket they were getting, after the first few matches and what they were seeing, I think they realised this is something really spectacular and a lot of people came out based on curiosity.”
“So while it was a bit challenging to get the word out that it would be something extravagant, it became very easy in the end. It was not a really big, hard sell, if you want to put it that way, after the initial stages.”
Of the 11 matches, defending champions and host nation West Indies were only involved in one, making the others neutral games.
Ramsingh said they were impressed by the turnout for those matches especially, as persons quickly embraced what the Women’s game had to offer.
While the LOC was not sure what to expect in terms of numbers, they did cater to a full stadium on any given match day. Though that did not materialise, activities through the turnstile were described as “encouraging.”
“…And because of that, even at the ICC level they’re realising Women’s cricket can actually stand alone and Guyana has helped in that regard quite a lot,” Ramsingh noted.
Despite what appeared to be a generally smooth and incident-free tournament for someone watching on from the outside, Ramsingh said there were minor challenges which the LOC had to confront and overcome.
Apart from “a power outage” and the “replay screen freezing for a bit”, it was generally smooth sailing for the local team, Ramsingh highlighted.
Several members of the LOC had the experience of working at past global events like the 50-over Cricket World Cup in 2007 and the Men’s and Women’s World T20 in 2010, as well as domestic competitions like the Hero Caribbean Premier League.
This, Ramsingh highlighted, made the task easier for the local personnel charged with delivering the best possible Women’s World T20 experience in Guyana.
“People would like to say ‘let’s breed some new blood’, but it’s a challenge to have somebody come in and they have to learn all over again. With an experienced team you’re basically hitting the ground running,” Ramsingh explained.
The next global cricket event to be hosted in the Caribbean is the Under-19 Cricket World Cup in 2022.