I came across a relatively old but somewhat embarrassing article from the Telegraph regarding Grenada and the Cricket World Cup 2007.
The article is generally scathing, in that “sharp and witty” way that the British seem to enjoy, but realistically it is probably pretty accurate. Some choice snippets:
.. but there are only 2,000 hotel beds on the island and if the planned home-stay programme works out there will be a further 2,000 beds in locals’ houses and apartments.
Then, according to Brenda Hood, the tourism minister, “there will be at least two cruise ships berthed in the harbour during the cricket,” providing up to 2,500 more beds. So, I make that a shortfall of some 8,500 beds if they’re expecting to fill the new stadium.
the generally shambolic nature of the islands
[Prime Minister Mitchell] says that one of the keys to a successful World Cup for Grenada will be the development of tourism in remote rural areas, like the one we are in.
“Twenty-five years ago you would not have seen electricity or fresh water or roads or telephone services out here. This will be one of the practice grounds next April and it will bring more foreign visitors. And that is just what this area needs.”
Huh? He mad or wha’?!
When I ask Brenda Hood why the Chinese are funding the £13.5 million stadium as well as building it, she shoots me a look that suggests I am a simpleton. “Officially, the trade-off is political support at the UN, but we see it as a partnership… we have Grenadians in China and we’re expecting Chinese tourists over here in the near future,” she says without a smile. The fact that those mortal enemies of the Chinese, the Taiwanese, have already financed and built an 8,000-seat stadium in St Kitts may also have something to do with it.
The drive back to St George from Grenville at the end of the cricket match is shambolic. We inch past oncoming traffic and gridlocks, along narrow, crumbling, ill-maintained roads
But the Caribbean is all about travelling at different speeds and the World Cup will be no different. British cricket-lovers will have to chill out, be prepared for all sorts of inefficiencies, calamities and discomforts… and if they relax a bit they may find that this will be the best Cricket World Cup ever. If they don’t, they are going to be driven mad.