Organisers eye March date for possible Sir Viv Richards putting competition

Sir Viv Richards (left) and Lord Ian Botham have a chat during a round of golf
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By Neto Baptiste

Organisers of the Putting Shoot-off Golf Competition in honour of legendary West Indies batsman and the country’s only living National Hero, Sir Vivian Richards, are awaiting confirmation of a proposal to host the event on March 7 next year on his 70th birthday, which is one day before the start of the first Test between the West Indies and England for the Richards-Botham Trophy here at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

This is according to one member of the organising team and acting stadium manager at the Sir Viv Richards Stadium, Keithroy Black, who said they are awaiting a reply from Cricket West Indies (CWI) for the competition to be held at the venue.

“The Test match is on the 8th [of March] and we would have written to CWI, so we are just waiting to get back to them with the logistics of it because on the 7th of March is our hero’s birthday — Sir Viv — so we want to do that. We can’t be dependent on the government alone to try to make money for the stadium, so we are trying to put things in place as well,” he said. 

Black is hoping that the competition, which could see the iconic cricketer compete alongside registered participants, will add some entertainment value to the whole aspect of the Test match and give the country an extra boost from a marketing standpoint.

“If we are able to pull that off on the 7th of March then the media will be here, the whole English crew and everybody will be here already in Antigua for the game on the 8th, and we will then celebrate with Sir Viv on the 7th of March and then go into the Test match where we will beat up on England on the 8th, the 9th and the 10th and finish in four days on the 11th and then we can take it from there,” he said. Antigua is also set to host matches in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Club slated to bowl off in January. 

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