As the ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022 reaches its crescendo, Cricket West Indies (CWI) President Ricky Skerritt has lauded the diligence and commitment of the four host governments and tournament staff in delivering another world-class event.
Speaking in Antigua yesterday – ahead of today’s grand tournament finale between England and India – he noted that, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event has taken place “almost seamlessly which is a great credit to all who worked tirelessly to make it a reality in difficult circumstances”.
“We knew it would be extra tough hosting such a large sporting event during the pandemic, especially moving so many people around different countries with different protocols; 16 teams, match officials, event staff, and broadcast crews. Then we had to factor in the periodic (COVID-19) testing of everyone associated with the tournament and, of course, we had some positive cases which we dealt with appropriately. It has proven a rigorous examination of our readiness; the systems we put in place; and of our ability to adapt and respond quickly to evolving situations,” he noted.
“Our people have done an amazing job to stay focused and to keep cricket playing. Congratulations to all the host countries as well as to our Tournament Director Fawwaz Baksh and the entire Project Team. I must single out our host governments for going above and beyond to ensure this event’s success. Thank you for such wholehearted and priceless support.”
Stressing this is the fourth International Cricket Council (ICC) global tournament being hosted by Cricket West Indies, Skerritt underscored the value of having “a growing cadre of sport-events professionals who are experienced in delivering events to world-class standards and capable of remaining calm under pressure”.
“Our Tournament Director and other project staff have worked on previous World Cups which the region has hosted. The fact that we were able to stay on track with the tournament schedule is glowing testament to them, as well as to the dedication of the host governments, the Local Organising Committees, the airlines, hotels, medical experts, transportation operators and other service providers with whom we worked.
“Everyone understood what was at stake. This has been a collective exercise in resilience and a determination to find solutions and to show our best in the face of adversity. It has been great teamwork – including with the ICC – and a sterling reminder that we are always stronger together.”
The President was thankful that COVID-19 hardly interfered with on-field action in the 23-day event; with only two matches in the Plate competition being cancelled because Canada could not field a team.
“Fans watching on television or via live streaming have been marvelling at how we have pulled this off. It was viewing as usual – cricket being played in Guyana, St. Kitts, Trinidad and now Antigua – and ultimately that’s what will be remembered: the exploits of the next generation of international stars and the excitement they brought to the world.”