By Neto Baptiste
Acting facilities manager at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Keithroy Black, said additional work will be carried at the venue ahead of the Cricket West Indies Super50 and the tour of the Sri Lanka men’s team in February.
Black pointed to the outfield as the main area of concern following assessments carried out after the recently held 10 Splash Cricket Tournament put on by the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association.
“The pitch, and everything else from our end, was good; it’s just that the outfield as below what is expected of us at the stadium but outside of that everything went down good. The whole protocols, not only for ground staff but the entire stadium itself in terms of the protocols were in place and everything went smoothly and that was just a dry run or a practice run for us as we prepare for the Super 50 and Sri Lanka coming up in March,” he said.
He also sought to address concerns over the lighting, stating that had it not been for a delay in the arrival of two containers of equipment for the facility, the matter would have been dealt with prior to the start of the local 10 Splash.
“Had it not been for COVID — because the Chinese, they are here and they had started phase five of the work at the stadium and that phase also includes the fixing of all lights — so all of the spare parts and whatever else is needed to fix those lights, I can’t tell you whether they or on the sea or whether they are in China but I can tell you they are not at the stadium but they are waiting for delivery, and when they get here the Chinese will be fixing the lights,” he said.
Regarding the need for a grass cutter, Black said his team has turned over all of the necessary information to those in authority and is awaiting word from them. He is however confident that the machine will be sourced.
“The government is trying its best to get it for us and I know the minister [Daryll Matthew] is really pushing. We have sent forward all of the information that we need and it is something that we are working on, so before the Super 50, we are hoping that we can have it here. It is just basically a cutter for the grass but it is not like a regular field cutter you would use to cut a regular field or a regular cricket field. It’s a specialized cutter,” he said.
Sri Lanka are scheduled to tour the Caribbean running February through March next year playing two Tests, three ODI’s and three T20 International matches. They will be followed by Australia from June to July for three ODI’s and three T20 Internationals.
Pakistan will then tour the West Indies from July to August playing three Tests and three T20 International matches.
CWI will also host a senior women’s cricket camp here at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in January with the Regional Super 50 starting soon after.