A workman shovels dirt into a trench along South Camp Road in Kingston as preparations for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup (CWC) continue. The newly refurbrished Sabina Park in the background will host first-round games and one semi-final. The tournament runs from March 11 to April 24. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
The head of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2007 has distanced his organisation from the deplorable state of Kingston, just two months before the event, and suggested some government agencies are failing to live up to their end of the bargain.
Robert Bryan, chairman of Jamaica's LOC, told The Gleaner yesterday that he is on target to make the required delivery to the International Cricket Council (ICC). He said Jamaica is about 85 per cent ready, but that he had nothing to do with the unwelcoming state of the capital city.
"I am focusing on those responsibilities that the LOC has and we characterise those as being completely on target," Mr. Bryan said. "But the beautification of the city, I have to defer to those persons who have responsibility to comment on it."
On Sunday, Kingston Mayor Desmond McKenzie said it would take a miracle to bring the capital into a truly welcoming state.
"Fixing up Kingston was never a part of my responsibility. The Government ministries and the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) have responsibility for the city," Mr. Bryan said yesterday. "Of course I would love to see a fabulous city, clean and to the ball because I do believe that the story to be told under the lens of the event is Jamaica ... One would love to say that the waterfront (Kingston) was totally remodelled and that St. William Grant Park was clean and nice."
Mr. Bryan added that he would love to see a different face on the run-down city but noted that a team performs well only when everyone delivers.
"It takes all of us to make a good team. Other persons now must explain what is taking place on the other side," he added.
Meanwhile, Mayor McKenzie has said he knows that the city of Kingston is his responsibility but noted that he is being squeezed by central government.
"As mayor I know it is my responsibility but I am not prepared to accept it (criticism) and not put up a fight," he said.
But while the city of Kingston continues to beg for attention, the ICC Cricket World Cup West Indies 2007 Inc. ICC CWC WI 2007) the company charged with the responsibility for planning, managing and executing the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 in the Caribbean has said they expect all nine Caribbean territories to be in a state of readiness when they take charge from the nine local organising committees.
"We come in on February 19 and we expect things to be ready," Chris Dehring, Chairman of ICC CWC WI 2007, said.
As of today, 60 days remain until the first warm-up game at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium. Despite this however, there are numerous unanswered questions about the country's readiness to showcase a hassle-free event that will rival previous tournaments and paint Jamaica as clean and friendly.
Look out tomorrow for 59 questions leading up to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007.