(CMC) – Cricket West Indies (CWI) President Dr Kishore Shallow has described next year’s arrival of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup as “exciting times”, and anticipates positive economic spin-offs for the region.
The Caribbean is poised to host the global showpiece from June 4-30, with matches being played across seven host venues in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and St Lucia.
The upcoming edition will be the largest ever, with the International Cricket Council (ICC) expanding the complement of teams to 20.
“[These are] exciting times. It’s a great opportunity for the region,” Shallow said.
“Just to put this into perspective: the last World Cup in Australia, you had like 1,500 jobs being created, over US$365 million in terms of economic impact. This is what this means to the region.
“This is going to be the biggest World Cup ever – 20 teams. And of course, we have thousands of fans coming to the Caribbean to witness this event.”
West Indies will co-host the tournament with the United States, which marks the first time an ICC World Cup will be played on American soil.
The ICC announced this week that the Texas city of Dallas, Fort Lauderdale in Florida, and Nassau County in New York would serve as venues for matches.
Shallow said the move to incorporate the United States was an important one in the context of cricket development in that region and globally.
“We need to take the game to North America,” he pointed out.
“We have been sort of adopting USA as a little brother over the last years, and I think this is very important that we help to grow the game in North America, which is our region, really.”
He added: “There are 106 countries that currently play cricket [and] one billion cricket lovers across the world, and that’s what the World Cup is next year as well, because we’re talking about millions viewing this World Cup.
“We’re going to be putting on a spectacle for the entire world, and again, it’s a great opportunity for all the stakeholders in not only West Indies cricket, but global cricket as well, and I can only see the sport growing after this World Cup next year.”
West Indies failed to qualify for the last T20 World Cup staged last year in Australia, but will have an automatic spot at next year’s showpiece by virtue of being hosts.