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Wednesday, 27 February, 2002, 11:57 GMT
Caribbean 'could lose World Cup'
Arnos Vale in Kingstown, St Vincent
Rousseau says many grounds are substandard
The Caribbean may lose the 2007 World Cup if it does not improve current playing facilities and infrastructure, former president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Pat Rousseau has claimed.

Rousseau said that difficulties with travel and movement between islands in the region could cause problems.

And he claimed that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has the power to take the event away from the Caribbean if progress had not been made by 2005.

< "West Indies has been given host status on the condition you prove your ability that you are ready on time for the event. I don't want us to lapse into complacency," Rousseau said.

The former board president declared that only Grenada has the playing facilities to host World Cup matches.


As far as we are concerned it is all systems go
ICC spokesman
And he believed customs and immigration checks in each country could affect the logistics of hosting the event.

"We cannot have 10 or 11 customs and immigrations to clear. It is nonsense," he said.

But an ICC spokesman denied that there was any deadline for arrangements to be in place.

"The ICC has recently begun the process of meeting with the organizers and as far as we are concerned it is all systems go," the spokesman told BBC Sport Online.

Former WICB president Pat Rousseau
Rousseau resigned as WICB president last year
Rousseau and his vice president, Clarvis Joseph, were forced to resign last year after a dispute over the running of the board.

The pair were replaced by former Test fast bowler and former Barbados minister of sport Wes Hall and former Leeward Islands executive Val Banks

Hall and Banks have already concluded lucrative deals with television company BSkyB, and is negotiating with South African company South African Investments Ltd in a drive to re-build the West Indies international status.

Kenya approval

Meanwhile, Kenya has been cleared to host two matches of the 2003 Cricket World Cup after tournament director Ali Bacher after completed a three-day inspection of the facilities.

2003 World Cup director Ali Bacher
Bacher has cleared Nairobi's facilitiesfor 2003
Nairobi's Gymkhana Club was widely praised when it played host to the 2000 ICC Knockout tournament.

And it has now been given the go-ahead for scheduled World Cup group matches involving hosts Kenya and Sri Lanka and New Zealand next February, although improvements will be needed.

However, six matches in Zimbabwe have yet to be confirmed, with the nation facing controversial government elections early next month.

World Cup organisers expect 1.2 billion people to watch the 2003 tournament on television, and around 800,000 spectators to see matches live.

See also:

10 Feb 02 |  Cricket
Lara targets 2007 World Cup
01 Mar 02 |  Cricket
From legend to leader
05 Jun 01 |  Cricket
The rise and fall of Rousseau
03 Jun 01 |  Cricket
Resignation for Windies pair
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