Hosting the six-week, 48-match Cricket
World Cup turned out to be a trying experience for the Caribbean.
The event ended
April 28 at Kensington Oval Stadium in Barbados with the Australian
team defeating the cricket boys from Sri Lanka.
and criticism swirled around the sporting event almost from the
The murder of
Pakistan's cricket coach in his hotel room made headlines around
the world. The early elimination of teams with large and loyal
followings led to hotel cancellations. Generally, ticket prices
were high and crowds were lower than anticipated.
"The word is
disappointment," said Alec Sanguinetti, executive director of the
Caribbean Hotel Association. "The low turnouts were not forecast. I
think history will look back and write this one up as a
Bob Woolmer was murdered in his room at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel
in Kingston on March 18, the day after Pakistan was
A pathologist who
conducted Woolmer's autopsy said that he had been strangled. No
suspects have been identified. The chief investigator described the
investigation as a "huge and complex" inquiry, which will take time
to unravel. Woolmer's body was released April 23 and returned to
his native South Africa for burial.
from the tournament was followed by India's loss to Bangladesh. The
loss triggered a floodgate of cancellations by hundreds of cricket
fans in India who had planned to come to the Caribbean.
The host West
Indies team also lost its shot at making it to the semifinals,
triggering hotel cancellations. "Hotel cancellations were an
issue," Sanguinetti said. "The hotels that had drawn up booking
contracts spelling out deposit structures and cancellation
penalties were OK. However, those properties that did not require
contracts and nonrefundable deposits are the ones that are
in Barbados, such as the Divi Southwinds Beach Resort and the Accra
Beach Hotel & Resort, required full payment in advance of the
that hotels in Barbados, Grenada and Jamaica were hard hit, as were
those destinations themselves. "There was and will be a loss of
revenue on these islands, and it has a trickle-down effect," he
Attendance was an
issue, as well. The loss of overseas visitors, coupled with ticket
prices that many locals complained were too high, hurt
CEO of the International Cricket Council, defended the pricing of
"This was a world
sporting event between major teams. The prices were fixed by the
local organizing committees. Our only input was to say that we
would like more tickets at the bottom end of the price
Critics said that
high-priced food and drink and stringent rules about what could be
brought into the stadiums robbed the event of its Caribbean flavor
and spirit, keeping crowds away.
officials, reacting to criticism, attempted to ease some
restrictions. A re-entry policy was introduced, allowing fans to
come and go from match venues. The restriction on fans bringing
food into the stadiums also was eased. Due to security restrictions
on the size of bags and backpacks, food items had to be in proper
waived restrictions on bringing musical instruments into stadiums,
such as conch shells, horns, drums and trumpets.
For the most
part, CWC passed the locals by while the international cricket fans
either stayed away or left early. Instead of a revenue-producing
event for the region with hoteliers, restaurants and local
economies benefiting from the arrival of thousands of overseas
visitors, they were left to lament the lack of business.
The 2011 Cricket
World Cup will be co-hosted by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and
To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].