India got a look into the cultures of the nine West Indian island nations that will be hosting World Cup matches next March and April.
New Delhi got a taste of what the 2007 World Cup will
be like when the ICC and the WICB, organizers of next
year's event unveiled an evening of Caribbean flavour
at one of the Capital's glitzy hotels on Thursday
The logo, mascot and ICC World Cup trophy were all
paraded, though cricket fans around the world are
already familiar with them.
What was really on display for the first time in India
was the culture of the nine West Indian island nations
that will be hosting World Cup matches next March and
Considering Trinidad and Tobago is the only nation in
the territories to have a full diplomatic presence in
New Delhi, the cultural fare on display was both
refreshing and long over-due.
The high-profile presence of the Prime Minister of
Grenada, Keith Claudius Mitchell raised some eyebrows.
Of course Mr. Mitchell was here in his capacity as
Chairman, CARICOM Prime Ministers' Sub-Committee on
Cricket rather than for any diplomatic or trade
Speculation was rife however that his presence was
also part of the WICB's bid to garner much needed
finances from the cash-rich BCCI prior to the World
But both Mr. Mitchell and Chris Dehring (MD and CEO of
ICC CWC WI 2007 Inc) were quick to point out to a
rather pointed question, that the WICB has indeed not
yet announced it is totally bankrupt!
Another pointer in this direction was IS Bindra being
present at the colourful function. Though one of the
Vice-Presidents of the BCCI, Bindra is seen as the
power behind the throne.
He was however busy fending off queries from swarming
journalists throughout the evening, many with TV mikes
thrust in his face eager to know his views on the
current plight of his bete noir, Jagmohan Dalmiya.
Dehring made a witty speech as he introduced the 12
stadia which will host next year's matches, all of
which are either new or completely refurbished, with
assistance from Chinese, Israeli and Indian
construction firms. He also made numerous sly
references to India's defeat in the recent ODI series
in the West Indies.
Prime Minister Mitchell was naturally more diplomatic,
repeatedly stressing he was hoping for a repeat of the
1983 Prudential World Cup final, though not necessarily
the final result, with India taking on the West Indies
at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados on Saturday,
He also recounted with pride how his nation had
bounced back two years ago from the ravages of
Hurricane Ivan that flattened much of the island,
including its sporting facilities. The Queen's Park
stadium was almost totally destroyed and many had
doubted it would be re-built in time for the World
The evening was rounded off by music by the
London-based Trinidad steel band Ebony and solo singer
David Rudder, also from Trinidad whose song 'Rally
Round the West Indies' has been adopted as the team's
Exotic dancers and traditional cuisine representing
all nine nations added spice to the occasion.