Strong chance of Guyana winning U-19 World Cup bid– Minister Ramson Jr.
By Akeem Greene
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., is cautiously optimistic that from the positive feedback during the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Cricket West Indies (CWI) venue inspections earlier this month, Guyana could be successful in its bid to host matches at next year’s Under-19 World Cup.
On September 4, a team comprising officials of the ICC, CWI, and the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), visited the National Stadium, Providence, the GCB’s La Bonne Intention Facility, Malteenoes Sports Club, the Guyana Defence Force Ground and the Enmore Community Centre.
The National Stadium is currently Guyana’s lone ICC international accredited venue.
Similar inspections were conducted on September 5 at the Demerara Cricket Club, Georgetown Cricket Club, Everest Cricket Club and Police Sports Club.
Prior to those inspections, Government officials also conducted visits to these venues to make their own assessments.
The ICC team returns in November for another inspection to possibly approve some of the venues.
Speaking on the sidelines at a recent event, Minister Ramson Jr. indicated he is positive about the bid, but is making no assurances of its success since it is a very competitive process.
“It was positive,” the Minister stated on the feedback. “We have got some remedial works that they have described which would be important for us to secure the bid.”
“We stand a strong chance, but there are other countries that are competing. I don’t like to put any kind of bets on anything unless I am sure, but I know the ICC representatives are very happy about the passion for cricket that they see in the country,” the Minister further explained.
Ramson Jr. said at the community level, the stakeholders are interested and they want to find avenues to make it work; he believes Guyana has put in a strong case for the bid.
“It is probably going to come down to some finer details on how great of a condition our grounds are in versus our competitors, but let’s see how that goes.”
Countries have been required to demonstrate their ability to stage the matches by providing adequate match and training facilities, undergo a venue inspection, provide immigration, customs, medical and security support, as well as other operational and logistical requirements including accommodation for the members of the teams, match officials and broadcast crew.
The tournament will feature 16 teams, competing from January 4 to February 3, 2022.
This is the first time the West Indies will host the event and it is likely to be staged across three host countries and will include the game’s future stars competing in 64 matches in the 50-over format.