By Beauty Razack
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – Guyana has been named as one of the host countries for the 14th edition of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under 19 World Cup, next year. The ICC is an international limited-overs cricket tournament. The tournament will run from January 14 to February 5, with Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, as well as Trinidad and Tobago confirmed as other venues. A total of ten venues will be used for the tournament.
At the official venue announcement and commemorative bat presentation ceremony held at the National Stadium, minister of culture, youth and sport, Charles Ramson, said not only would the event give opportunities to the youth of our country, but also, it will aid economic development.
“Why did we make this kind of investment and direct this kind of energy? It’s because I know that the sport and hosting the tournament matters, it matters in many ways. I’ll start off from an economic perspective and then go on to a youth perspective. We’ve quantified internally at the ministry that in excess of USD 3M of economic value will be coming to Guyana within the month of January. We were not going to allow an opportunity to host the tournament where you’re getting that kind of value of revenue stream directly or indirectly into the country and let that fritter away or disappear,” he said.
The minister noted that with such investment, a number of sectors and the people of the country importantly will be able to benefit from this tournament in a number of ways. “When you think about the transportation, the logistics, all of the people connected to catering, it’s hundreds of millions of dollars in economic value, security everything. The catering of the food, it’s connected to the farmers wherever they plant, in Berbice, in Essequibo or in the islands, wherever they plant it’s all connected to value chain which generates economic activity that multiplies, that multiplies in the economy,” the minister noted.
The minister also shared that this event will play a critical role in enabling Guyana to prepare for the 2024 World Cup Tournament.
“So, this is the under 19, it is the precursor to getting into the big World Cup, it tests our readiness, it tests our strength, it tests also our personnel. It tests our facilities. We know now where and how we have to make the investment to get ourselves into a strong position to host as many games as possible for the 2024 World Cup,” he said.
Senior ICC events manager, Benjamin Leaver said it is clear the relationship Guyana has with the West Indies is strong as this will not be the country’s first time hosting an event of this nature.
“Obviously, Guyana and the West Indies have strong success. You’ve hosted the men’s Cricket World Cup, the women’s T 20, the Men’s T 20 And now the men’s under 19. Cricket World Cup. The under 19 Cricket World Cup is one that’s close to all of our hearts at the ICC, especially mine, having worked on them since 2014… It’s a dynamic event where we get to showcase to those players what a world-class event looks like,” he said.