Cricket boss urges football to fall in line, start season on time

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By Neto Baptiste

President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA), Leon Rodney, said the constant late start to the annual football season continues to negatively impact the smooth start of the domestic cricket season set to bowl off this weekend.

Rodney said the association is forced to utilise facilities outside of the norm as a number of football teams are still occupying fields used by the ABCA as they enter a crucial phase of their various competitions.

“It has to present challenges because, for example, we are not too keen on playing First Class matches at Factory [Ground] for the known reason of there being no facilities and so forth, but I am sure that Factory has to come into play this weekend. My understanding is that the game between New Winthorpes and Bolans will be rescheduled to be played at Factory,” he said.

Rodney added that the Football Association is seemingly not interested in bringing its programme back in line with the norms which would allow for an easy transition for all involved.

“I can remember in the earlier days there wasn’t really much of a challenge because football ends in December, and by the end of January, cricket is up and running. But now that has changed big time where football runs all the way down to March, and the truth is that it doesn’t seem as if the other side is too willing to rectify that as it was in the past,” the cricket boss said.

This year, the Football Association’s competitions got off to a near two-month late start following attempts to rectify issues with the Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG). The First and Second Division competitions, which usually occupy the community fields, also started at least two months late.

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