National Assembly approves ICC Cricket World Cup WI Bill

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Minister of Culture, Youths and Sports Charles Ramson Jr delivering his debate on the bill in the National Assembly on Friday

The National Assembly on Thursday approved the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup West Indies Bill which aims to provide the legal framework for the efficient and structured staging of the ICC Cricket World Cup West Indies 2024 and related purposes.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., highlighted that the Bill seeks to harmonise the provisions as part of their international commitments to host these matches.

“As you know, sports is big business and also being able to host these international tournaments comes with particular obligations…

It is a privilege to have the World Cup come to the West Indies. We are looking forward to a successful game and hosting of the tournament,” the minister pointed out to the National Assembly on Friday.

He stressed that it is a great accomplishment for Guyana to host the World Cup tournament.

“The country’s ability to host and the region’s ability to host is now under different circumstances and challenges. One that is very unique that we haven’t faced before. We now have the United States of America entering the market as a player to host international matches…” he stated.

Minister Ramson explained that Guyana passing this legislation signals its intention for this tournament.

He continued, “It also sends a very important signal to the world about putting into place a developmental pathway to achieving that vision for President Ali for Guyana to be a world-class premiere destination for international events.”

The Bill also enables the minister to declare premises and land to be Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2024 venues ancillary to such avenues and to declare periods to be match periods for the Act.

Furthermore, it outlines that the control of CWC 2024 venues during the match period will rest with Cricket West Indies (CWI) 2024 Inc., subject only to the rights of certain persons such as any authority responsible for public health.

According to the Bill, the CWI is responsible for all the sale and distribution of the tickets. It also allows the Government of Guyana to provide the relevant work permits relative to CWC 2024 activity and the processing of these permits.

The Bill also empowers the minister to make regulations for the Act and amend by order any of the schedules to the Act.

The National Stadium in Providence, on the East Bank of Demerara, is currently undergoing renovations in preparation to host several cricket matches during the Men’s T20 World Cup next month.

Guyana will host group games from June 2 to 8 and the semi-final (one) on June 26.

Minister Ramson also took the opportunity to announce that Guyana will be hosting the test match with South Africa for the first time in 13 years.

Meanwhile, Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn noted that all stakeholders involved are working assiduously to ensure that the events are well managed during this period.

“There are indeed a number of positions or understandings that we need to have from the security side or understandings to the matter,” the home affairs minister emphasised.

For instance, the Bill prohibits unauthorised entry into and exit from a stadium. It also empowers a police officer to demand the name and address of suspected offenders.

CWI is responsible for the sale and distribution of tickets as it is an offense to sell or supply a ticket for admission to a CWC 2024 activity without the written authorisation of CWI.

Importantly, Minister Benn highlighted that there will be a $5 million fine for anyone found guilty of the unauthorised sale of tickets.

The Bill prohibits the use of cricket tickets in any form of commercial activity as prizes in any competition or game without the written approval of CWI.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC also delivered brief remarks while providing his full support for the Bill. (DPI)