Ruining it for the locals

What a World Cup is has been so far, a tournament memorable for all the wrong reasons. The gestapo-like restrictions have been mentioned before, but such incredulity needs regular airing.

Vaneisa Baksh writes:

On my bookshelf there are three or four unused tickets that will serve as my pretty World Cup souvenirs. As much as I love the game and want to support it, I couldn’t subject myself to absurd restrictions that tried to masquerade under a security umbrella.

West Indians sensed early that this World Cup cared little for their company, their culture, and ignored the realities of life in this part of the world. So they are staying away from all the grand stadia their governments have spent so much of their money to prepare. It just hasn’t been enough about West Indians; can you blame them?

It is, very nearly, a complete disaster. The only hope for the locals is if, by some strange twist of fate, West Indies make the final. They won’t, though, and the public will stay at home. That feeling of revitalisation – a spring hope that the region would be injected with cricket fever – a few weeks ago has dribbled away. This is largely due to, but not solely restricted to, the ICC’s blind greed, their suffocating marketing tactics and a complete lack of interest, or knowledge, of Caribbean culture. They have distanced the very people that should be instrumental (in every sense of the word) to the tournament’s success. That is quite some feat.

Mike King says:

Locals, alienated by the prices and culture of this global event with its Alcatraz-like policies, have stayed away from even those games featuring the home side.

Long queues for tickets and expensive food have resulted in short tempers, paltry crowds and complaints at every turn.

Prior to the tournament, organisers were boasting of sell-out grounds and marketed the event as the best World Cup ever. To say they got it wrong is an under-statement of gigantic proportions.

The ICC cannot be blamed for the cricket on show – and perhaps that, more than the event’s planning, has affected the region’s apathy. West Indies have, as we all suspected but wished wouldn’t happen, been caught short and exposed. But this tournament has been in planning for over five years. Why, then, has it been such a shambles and who will be called to account?

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