The organisers of the Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean next year, CWC2007, have gradually been waking up to what can only be considered a dose of realism.
It seems fair to say that the CWC 2007 may well have been seeking to maintain high levels of optimism in order to encourage Caribbean people to come forward in the best possible way.
While in no way intending to throw cold water on the grandiose plans of the CWC2007 it is clear that many of the things being stated and hoped for would not be realised.
The CWC2007 is probably the first major sporting event of its kind ever hosted in the Caribbean which would have relied so heavily on the financing from the governments of the region. This comes at a time when all countries in the region, with the possible exception of Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados are cash-strapped. The West Indies Cricket Board must be congratulated for having scored a major coup in the way in which it got the rights to host the CWC2007 and then landed the major costs in the laps of the governments of the Caribbean.
No other sporting organisation has ever dared to engage itself in so bold an initiative in this region of ours.
Almost everywhere in the cricketing Caribbean governments have been making some financial commitments to the CWC2007 the likes of which no other sporting occasion has ever witnessed. In some cases one is not even sure that the government of the day quite understands the nature of its commitment or its consequences. This author continues to insist that in many instances the government may not have even engaged in any serious cost benefit analysis. Some may go so far as to suggest that the follow-fashion nature of our regions politicians may well have caused them all to commit without even any sort of analysis, period.
Certainly, in a few cases it seems that the government would have attempted to engage in some long term planning in so far as the legacy of the CWC2007 is concerned. An example of this, perhaps the best example is the case of Barbados, a country that remains highly committed to the sport and where the people discuss it everyday.