GROS ISLET, St Lucia – Tournament director Jennifer Nero has hailed the organizing committees of the ongoing ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup in St. Lucia and Guyana, following the completion of group stages in those two territories.
Nero, who is also a director of Cricket West Indies, said the tournament has attracted record numbers of spectators and the hard work done in the preparation stage had paid huge dividends.
“We launched the amazing ‘Watch This’ campaign back in June and it has caught the imagination of the cricket world,” said Nero.
“We are delighted with the number of fans coming to the matches and we want to applaud everyone who came out – men, women and children. We had huge turn-outs in both venues – the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground and the Guyana National Stadium – which provided an electrifying atmosphere.”
Nero added: “We want to say a special ‘thank you’ to the governments and people of St Lucia and Guyana for their support and help in putting on a wonderful show in the opening rounds.”
The tournament is a historic one as the first ICC stand-alone Twenty20 tournament. In the past, both the men’s and women’s events have been run alongside each other.
Eight years ago, the Caribbean also hosted the T20 World Cup, with much success.
“I must commend the officials and staff who worked on this event – everything was well-organized and went according to plan. We have a cadre of competent, skilled and highly-motivated professionals who executed a seamless operation,” Nero continued.
“Of note, if the work of the ground-staff in both venues, who did yeoman service to get the pitches and out fields in top condition.
“No stone was left unturned and we have seen a new level of excitement and organization in the women’s game. We ended the first round with an amazing crowd of close to 10,000 in St. Lucia and it was a great occasion. We have seen the rise of women’s cricket.”
Tickets sale have surpassed previous expectations, with an average of close to 4,000 fans per match day. With the momentum, organisers are expecting capacity crowds for the final phase in Antigua.
With hosts Windies Women storming into the semi-finals alongside England, Australia and India, Nero urged the fans in Antigua to come out and be part of history.
The semi-finals of the global event will be contested on Thursday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, where the final takes place two days later.
West Indies take on three-time champions Australia while England face India in the other semi-final.
“We are now into the last lap with the top four teams sharing the limelight. The spotlight will now switch to Antigua and we expect the same levels of operations and delivery,” said Nero.
“This tournament has opened the eyes of the world and demonstrated that the women’s game can stand alone – the ladies are standing proudly with athletic and dynamic displays on the field backed by superb organization and leadership off the field. This is a boundary-breaking, history-making event.”