World Cup organising triumph
As the World Cup gets seamlessly underway today it is easy to forget just what an awesome task organising the tournament has been. When the committee first sat down to try to figure out how to reach today's milestone they must have felt like crying. On the agenda for that first meeting were: placating inter-island rivalry, a decrepit transport system, a total lack of tourist facilities, uniting policing across nine nations and what to have for lunch.
By far the most challenging of all the above was the first. Even the West Indies team itself has at times been so riven by in-fighting that it has failed to function - notably in the years that Guyana's Carl Hooper was captain - so you can imagine the issues co-ordinating so many agancies across such a number of island nations. Amazingly they have achieved it, and it has taken only 10 years.
The West Indies region actually needed something to unite all its parts in a common purpose, not only for sporting reasons but for economic ones in this increasingly globalised economy. How fitting and also ironic it is that cricket, a remnant of the oppressive British Empire that then made the West Indies sporting legends, is the main driver in facilitating this. As Clem Seecharan, professor of Caribbean history at London Metropolitan University said, "This is one area in which they have been nobody's third world.' [lee calvert]
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