‘We’re progressing well’- ICC, CWI conduct venue inspection at Providence ahead of World T20
Officials of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Cricket West Indies (CWI) on Sunday conducted a venue inspection tour of the National Stadium, Providence, to assess preparations ahead of the Men’s T20 World Cup in June 2024.
Guyana is slated to host matches in the June 4-20 global showpiece, alongside Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.
Head of Operations K.J. Singh and ICC Senior Manager for Host Compliance and Operations Tulsa Woodham spoke on the scope of work that has to be done at the National Stadium, specifically as it relates to space to accommodate different aspects of match day operations.
This inspection was conducted against the backdrop of a first venue visit that was done in April.
Woodham explained: “We’re here today to review preparations for the tournament. Planning is going to intensify between now and tournament time in June next year and so it’s very important for us to be here to review the status of construction, renovation, maintenance and any other elements that have been confirmed into the report that was provided earlier in the year.”
“There are some temporary overlay facilities that we will need to make sure that we do meet the minimum standards and also the requirements of the tournament.”
Guyana hosted matches in the World T20 in 2010, but according to Singh, the dynamics have changed since then, especially as it relates to “the advances of technology and innovations in the game.”
“But what is more important is on the heels of a very successful Men’s (50-over) World Cup in India, we have the full (broadcast and digital) crew from ICC in segments coming down to look at their spaces (and) give recommendations…so it’s a big collaboration between CWI, government, the territorial board and the ICC,” Singh said.
“So today we’re looking at aspects of hospitality, ticketing, media and broadcast. Broadcast is bringing a big contingent…these stadiums were built in 2007 for a particular world event and we successfully hosted the 2010 (T20) World Cup in 2010 in the Caribbean, but the operational overlay then was much less than now.”
The advent of the Spider Cam and the expanded digital operations in the T20 format have led to a significant increase in personnel, all of whom would have to be accommodated on match days.
“Based on our first half of the day inspecting the venue for operational spaces and requirements, we do meet a lot of it, but we still need some more spaces to be found, which might be temporary overlays,” Singh divulged.
At the conclusion of the visit, a report will be handed over to the government and the Local Organising Committee outlining the next steps and the stipulated timelines.
“So far we’re progressing well and we’re looking forward to fully operationalising this stadium for the event next year,” Singh added.
Similar inspections were conducted in the other host nations, and follow-up visits will occur in the lead-up to the global event, with specific focus on Pitch and Outfield, Security Operations and Planning, and Safety and Medical.
The USA is also set to co-host the event for the first time, with matches in Dallas, Florida and Nassau County.