ST JOHN’S, Antigua- Antigua & Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) has received notice of eviction by the Minister of Sports, Senator Winston Williams Jr.
The ABCA secretariat, which occupies space within the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds complex, has been asked to relocate its office to the blue structure just outside the cricket grounds which is normally reserved for ticketing by no later than next week Tuesday, October 15.
Cricket association president Zorol Barthley, who is currently in Scotland representing Antigua & Barbuda in the International Pairs competition, responded to the “appalling level of disrespect” of the minister’s request with the following statement:
“With regards to your proposal that the ABCA vacate its current location, we respectfully advise that the ABCA will not be making any provision so to do, and as earlier decided in consultation with the Ministry of Sports, will relocate to the office recently occupied by the CPL. Be also further advised that the ABCA is not in a position to share office space with the Leeward Islands Cricket Association, as also proposed in your communication. As far as we are aware, the ministry offered office space to LICA without any consultation with the ABCA.”
Earlier this year while speaking at the Leeward Islands Cricket Association’s 100th Anniversary Gala Dinner at Grand Royal Antiguan Resort, West Indies Cricket Board president Dave Cameron promised that, “The WICB is prepared and willing to assist with the setting up of a permanent secretariat for LICA here in Antigua.”
Minister Williams reiterated the promise of the WICB head as he had announced that his government has given a commitment to provide office space to house the LICA Secretariat in Antigua and “will also provide certain amenities to operationalise the office.”
It is in keeping with this promise, the ABCA secretariat has been asked to relocate.
Barthley further responded to the Minister of Sports by reminding him of ABCA’s “ten per cent ownership of the assets of the Sir Vivian Richards Grounds” and that the “decisions made with regard to the running/management of the venue ought to be done after consultation with the ABCA.”
When contacted, Senator Williams told Observer media that although the cricket association has chosen to go public with a private correspondence, he will respond to its allegations in private as his original correspondence to ABCA was done in private.
The notice to vacate, however, comes at an awkward time as in just four months the country will host England in a Test match against West Indies. The Test series will run from February to March 2014.