Meha Bhardwaj | February 23, 2007, 12:26 PM IST
New Delhi: For the first time the cricket World Cup will go to not one, two or three countries but as many as nine independent countries.
But then that is the magic of the West Indies cricket.
Though there are still some concerns over the pace at which stadiums and other infrastructures are being built, but the signs are good and a memorable World Cup is in the offing.
The pristine beaches of Antigua will soon be brimming with tourists, as cricket fans from across the world will find their way to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Antigua will host matches in the Super Eights and never having hosted a big tournament before, Antiguans are sweating it out to get ready for the challenge.
But Antigua's best-known face and one of the most destructive batsmen in the history of cricket Sir Vivian Richards believes more needs to happen.
"I would like give the people the benefit of doubt that they have the most important things ready," says Sir Viv Richards.
In neighboring St Kitts and Nevis, the news is better. With a population of just 32,000 this is the smallest of all host nations and the local World Cup committee is bursting with optimism.
"We are very very confident that everything will be ready," Chief Executive Officer of the St Kitts and Nevis Local Organising Committee Horatio Versailles says.
The tourism industry, too, can’t wait for the tournament to begin, as they believe the positive impact of the tournament will be seen well after the teams have gone home.
"It will enhance tourism. People will come and see the islands and the loving people again and again," tourism official Lee Graham says.
Work is on at feverish pitch to get the venues ready in time but when the stands fill up during the tournament, all the toil will be worth it.
The World Cup will surely be a memorable occasion for the people of the Caribbean.