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The importance of first impressions

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Adam Mountford | 11:32 UK time, Wednesday, 28 April 2010

It can be rather dangerous to make judgements too soon on whether a tournament will be a success... but you know what they say about the importance of first impressions.

Three years ago I arrived in Barbados for the start of the 2007 World Cup and was immediately struck by the negativity that seemed to be shared by the local people about the forthcoming event.

I remember writing a blog a few days before the tournament began about how the people I had met felt there was a danger that the West Indies World Cup was not going to be the Caribbean event it should be.

Ticket prices were too high, musical instruments etc were to be banned from the grounds and new stadia built specially for the event were too far away from where people lived and lacking in character.

At the time I wrote the blog I thought I was just reflecting a flavour of what a few people felt - but it turned out to perhaps be "the" story of the 2007 West Indies World Cup. An elongated competition played in front of mainly small crowds with little of the unique Caribbean atmosphere.

So the big question is have the ICC and the local organisers learnt from the mistakes of three years ago?

An advert for the tournamentSigns advertising the tournament welcome the TMS team to Barbados

Well the first impressions are certainly good.

When I arrived at the Grantley Adams International airport in Barbados on Monday we were greeted by lots of large colourful signs urging us to "Bring it" ... the motto of the competition and the name of the official tournament song featuring, I'm reliably informed, "Dancehall maestro Mr Vegas and soca queen Fay Ann Lyons".

I'm sure its an irony not lost on the ICC that three years ago a lot of negative publicity was centred around what people were not allowed to take to matches. In 2010 the catch line for the tournament is "bring it".

Although I've yet to find out if all shapes and sizes of shells and musical instruments will be allowed in grounds - what is definitely evident from my first couple of days here in the West Indies is that unlike three years ago there is a real buzz about the tournament.

We are expecting big crowds with many games already sold out I'm told and it seems lessons have been learnt over ticket prices. You can see a game for less than two pounds with tickets for the final itself available for around 13 pounds.

I was in Barbados on Monday and have travelled on to Guyana and in both countries virtually everyone I have spoken to seems enthusiastic about the forthcoming cricket with many already having bought tickets to some of the games.

The man who helped me with my luggage in my hotel in Georgetown said he'd see me at the two warm-up games on Wednesday. "It's the only tickets I could get," he said."I wanted to watch the West Indies beat England next week, but all the tickets had gone."

Our coverage of the World Twenty20 gets under way on Friday with commentary on Five Live Sports Extra of the opening game between Sri Lanka and New Zealand followed by the hosts the West Indies taking on serial giant killers Ireland. We will be on air from 1745 BST on Friday.

Over in St Lucia, Alison Mitchell will bring you news of Afghanistan's opening games after their amazing qualification for the tournament, plus details of the first matches featuring the holders Pakistan and previous champions India.

The Kensington OvalThe Kensington Oval in Barbados will host the final

England begin their campaign on Monday against the hosts with Five Live Sports Extra and Radio Four Longwave bringing you ball by ball action from 1830.

We will then bring you commentary on England against Ireland on Tuesday before beginning our blanket coverage of the Super Eight stage onwards from Thursday 6 May, including commentary on the semi-finals and final of the Women's World Twenty20 which is running alongside the men's competition.

Our correspondent Jonathan Agnew is leading our commentary team alongside the voice of West Indies cricket Tony Cozier with expert analysis from, among others, Michael Vaughan who will be with TMS once again.

There will be extensive coverage here at and look out for more blogs, articles and behind the scenes pictures on Flickr plus twitter posts from Jonathan Agnew and Alison Mitchell.

And as always we want to hear from you - with comments here on the TMS blog or by e-mailing

We are very much looking forward to "bringing it" all to you!



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