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President of Cricket West Indies, Kishore Shallow is projecting that the 2024 ICC T20 Men World Cup will see “over US$400 million” being spent across the United States and the Caribbean.

“And with that, there are certainly great expectations of the entire Caribbean,” Shallow said as the trophy arrived in St. Vincent as part of a regional tour ahead of next month’s tournament.

Shallow, a Vincentian, said there is “no argument” that the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is the biggest ever.

“For the first time we are having 20 teams in a World Cup event and that is something historic in itself, Shallow said.

“And comes with that tremendous opportunities. I mean, we have echoed about the benefits, unlocking revenues, we’re talking about thousands of jobs being created for this period as well. But when we compare to the last World Cup, 2020 World Cup held in Australia in 2022, the revenue spent in the entire event was in excess of US$300 million.”

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He noted that the 2024 World Cup is the “biggest ever”, adding that he was anticipating over US$400 being spent.

Shallow said he was “quite pleased with the progress” made across the region in preparation for the hosting of games.

“By all reports, all the major developments across the islands, the stadiums, training facilities, and playing facilities are well on schedule for June 2 for the first match in the Caribbean, which is in Guyana.”

He said that Vincentians passing Arnos Vale shared “a similar level of excitement to me, in seeing the light towers being installed”.

The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines says it is spending about EC$38 million to prepare the nation’s main cricket ground for the tournament.

The upgrade includes the installation of floodlights and a digital scoreboard.

“And that is a tremendous accomplishment and I think the Government of St. Vincent deserves a round of applause for that,” Shallow told the ceremony at Argyle International Airport.

“There are sacrifices being made for these types of events across the globe. But certainly, in the Caribbean, where we do have limited resources, it is very important that we appreciate these investments in sports,” said Shallow, a former national cricketer.

He said he was sure that Vincentians and visitors to the country would enjoy the investments come June 13, when the country hosts its first game in the tournament at Arnos Vale Sports Complex.

Shallow said a cricket world cup comes around “maybe every 15, 20 years.

“And we don’t want another experience as Nick Mclean who has said to me that the first time … he experienced light at a cricket game was when he played under lights.

“And so, parents, I’m asking you to bring out those young children to experience that fantastic opportunity,” Shallow said.

Meanwhile, Dougal James, chair of the Local Organising Committee, urged Vincentians to rally around the West Indies, the regional team, which has not been enjoying much cricketing success recently.

James said cricket is a pillar of development in the Caribbean, and, in St. Vincent can only be surpassed by tourism and financial services.

“Because historically, cricketers plied their trade overseas, but 90% of them returned to the Caribbean to invest in the local economy and build the economy,” James said.

“Cricketers are some of the most intelligent individuals in the world. It is very difficult, as an individual, to be defending yourself against a missile coming to you at 150 miles per hour.”

James said he hoped that there would be “togetherness” and that the business community would assist with the development of cricket, adding that the SVG Cricket Association, of which he is president, cannot do it alone.

“All stakeholders –parents, the community, the government, the business sector — need to be on board because the mind also needs to be worked on, so it is broad-based.”

He said the time and setting is right for the trophy to remain in the Caribbean.

“Let’s rally around the West Indies and rally around cricket. Because at the end of the day, the winner must be cricket. And once the winner is cricket, the West Indies will be in the mix,” James said.

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