In Part I of this interview, CEO of the T20 World Cup Local Organising Committee spoke about how they planned to activate grassroots programs to get people to the event. In Part II, he talks about the bigger picture; how the tournament is placed as compared to events of the past, and its legacy for years to come.
Is this the most heavily invested in Women’s World Cup? Across both formats?
By a significant margin. We have invested heavily, by we I mean Australian cricket has invested really heavily. So multiple millions of dollars, not only to separate the events but also to play them all around the country – six host cities, eight venues. The reason we’re doing that is we’d like to take the tournament to as many people around the country. Credit to the ICC; the hotels, standard of travel, number of cameras, social media, from those elements, it’s all the same level (as men’s World Cups).
How do you bring your multi-sport event experience, like from the Olympics, to something like this?
The big differences are, one, the Olympics is one city, and two, those require a lot of bespoke things to be built, whereas Australia has a lot of sporting infrastructure already.
What we are trying is, when you come in, you feel there’s a major thing going on, like you would in an Olympic city. We’re trying to recreate that in each city, and you can do that in T20 with the short time frame. So for Brisbane, we have six of the competing teams together. In Perth, we have five matches in three days. So the festival is what we’re trying to create.
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To the end of taking this tournament to as many people as possible, will the games be on Free To Air (FTA) TV in Australia?
All the games will be on Fox (pay TV), and every Australia match plus the semis and final on Channel Nine (FTA). [Women’s CricZone understands that there will be a further six games on FTA, but those are still to be decided.] There are only two days when there are matches on in the tournament where we don’t have games on FTA. So we’ve got a really nice balance.
Tournaments like the Olympics are usually on FTA. With this one not fully on FTA, (are there) any concerns about its legacy?
What we’re trying to encourage is getting as many people as possible to actually come to the matches. That’s also the legacy. Normally clubs would be closed (this time of year), halfway through February, they will start getting ready for football. But Australian Cricket has invested in keeping the clubs open. What we’re hoping is that people will see cricket for the first time, they might want to go and try it at their local club. So what we’ve done is extend the season; they can enroll and register to play the following season. So club taster programs will be happening till April, so people can enjoy and enroll for the 2020-21 season.
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Does this World Cup have a mission statement?
It’s got a purpose. Our purpose is to bring generations and cultures together. I grew up in Birmingham in England, then emigrated to Australia. Birmingham is one of the most multicultural cities in England, so at my school and club, we had all different backgrounds. Bringing people together is what sport events do. Many expat populations here are growing very rapidly. So here they can come together and celebrate their country of origin in a common language. That’s important.
In terms of generations, everyone nowadays is looking at screens. So being able to come together; parents, grandparents, kids; inter-generational connectivity is I believe really really important. So we have family friendly ticket pricing. Kids for five dollars and adults for 20 -which is about the same as going to the cinema- to come to a World Cup, a one off, a special occasion.