ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Antigua & Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) has reported that barring rain the inaugural Cool & Smooth Twenty20 Cricket Tournament is on schedule to commence today as preparations have been completed.
Executive member of ABCA, Fitzroy Quinland, who chairs the organising committee, said teams taking part have all received the necessary assistance while only an overhaul of the main venue is required ahead of Friday’s scheduled start.
“Last night (Wednesday) we had a handing over presentation where the clubs were given their gears, uniforms, and when I say gears I mean four pairs of pads, four pairs of gloves, the uniforms and helmets, and that was done last night for all the clubs. The umpires were looked after also so I think we are ready to start the games tomorrow barring any rain,” Quinland said.
“I will have to go there (Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds) this afternoon (Thursday) to look at the outfield and the pitch itself and to make sure all the lights are working and things like that and talk to the ministry (of sports) to make sure everything is under our control.”
Quinland said he is satisfied with the level of preparation undertaken by the teams while revealing that a move by the sponsors has ensured that all of the nation’s youth would be allowed to view the matches at no cost.
“One team had asked for permission to go there (Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds) and practice during the course of the week under the lights. I directed them to the ministry so I don’t know if that happened but when I drove through All Saints and other places that have lights, they were practicing in the evening,” he said.
“Tuesday, they went around to some of the schools, the captains on a bus hired or chartered by Cool & Smooth and they gave out some tickets to the schools so that they could be at the games free,” the ABCA executive member said.
Eight teams from the ABCA tournaments including PIC Liberta, Diamonds International Police, Bolans, All Saints, Jennings, Scotiabank Empire, Medpath New Winthorpes and Caribbean Union Bank Bethesda will compete for the top prize.
They will be joined by Mahico and Pigotts from the Parish League as they do battle for the grand prize of $20,000.
Second place will receive $10,000 and third place $5,000. There will be a total of 27 games with $500 per game for the man of the match award and the MVP of the entire tournament will receive $1,500.
Police and Mahico will play the first game of the competition scheduled to start at 4 pm, while Bolans will take on All Saints at 8 pm. All matches will be played at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds.