By Neto Baptiste
The government, via Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA), is partnering with Cricket West Indies (CWI) to develop a communication center at the country’s second International venue, the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG).
This was revealed by Minister of Information, Broadcasting, Telecommunications & Information Technology, Melford Nicholas, who revealed during Thursday’s Cabinet press briefing that CWI approached the government several months ago and indicated its intention to develop the high-powered facility here.
“At that communication center, it is their intention that all of the games that fall under their purview within the Caribbean, that they will do the production facilities there. [This] means that from each of the other venues, whether it be from Jamaica, Trinidad, or Barbados, they would send the camera feeds through this massive communication network at Coolidge … they would do all of the mixing, the playback, switch camera positions and so on, so the possibility is really exciting,” he said.
“They have indicated that when it is completed that they will have about 25 sustainable high-tech jobs,” he added.
Nicholas said, however, that a short-term solution is being looked at for the country’s hosting of the first Test between West Indies and Bangladesh from June 16-20 at the Sir Viv Richards Stadium.
“What they are hoping to achieve is to get a communication path from the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium all the way back to the UK where the cameras, once here at the grounds, the production can be done and then the broadcasting in the international media space could be done from the UK as well. So that is the initial phase. Ultimately, all of that mind and management will be transferred to Antigua and so the government is working furtively through my ministry and APUA to ensure we could give [CWI] the technical requirements they have asked for,” he said.
In February 2021, CCG received international certification as an international venue.