For about 170 Hawke's Bay people the ICC Cricket World Cup will mean some long and possibly challenging days - but they would not have it any other way.

They are volunteers and will be part of a 4000-strong force of "vollies" who will be doing their bit to make the big event a success in the 14 host cities across Australia and New Zealand.

ICC Cricket World Cup chief executive officer John Harnden was in no doubt about the value of the volunteer force.

"This is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and it would not be possible without the efforts of the thousands of volunteers involved - our thanks and respect go out to each and every one of them," he said.


The first of the volunteers arrived at McLean Park yesterday to pick up their specially designed, and colourful, uniforms.

Among the local crew is Napier Deputy Mayor Faye White who said she wanted to be a part of the volunteer team as during her many years working within Napier council politics she had come across "a lot of work that goes under the radar" being done by volunteers.

"I thought, can I do this?"

The answer was yes, and she had something of a trial run during the Black Caps vs Pakistan match where she spent about three hours handing out pamphlets about the ICC Cricket World Cup matches coming up.

Having worked on council for so long she is not phased by the long hours ahead.

"It is something I want to do and yes, I hope to see a bit of the cricket."

Her role will be looking after the fans and spectators - assisting with directions to places, general help and advice.

"But at this stage I'm really not sure - but we have got training sessions coming up."


The volunteers, who all went through a screening process, will carry out a variety of roles on match days in Napier where three matches will be played next month.

From assisting spectators and media, to event organisation, providing transport and hospitality support.

There are training programmes planned for tomorrow and next Tuesday.

The response from the public to fill the volunteer spots left the ICC Cricket World Cup management delighted as all the spots had been filled across all the venues.

Meanwhile, tickets are still available for the Black Caps vs Afghanistan clash on March 8.

It is the only game featuring the Black Caps not yet to sell out although operations manager Anthony Crummy said the indications were McLean Park would be sold out for the big occasion.


Mrs White was happy to volunteer some advice for Hawke's Bay people thinking about whether to head to McLean Park or not.

"Let's support it - the world will be watching."