By Neto Baptiste
Staff at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground are set to intensify preparations ahead of the country’s hosting of matches in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup starting in January, and also the England versus West Indies series two months later in March.
This is according to acting stadium manager, Keithroy Black, who said that following the conclusion of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Americas Qualifiers on Saturday, attention will turn to preparations for the two significant events.
“After Saturday we will be closing off all field activities so no more cricket or anything at all until January, so a lot of work will have to go into the field in terms of preparation. As it relates to the stands, and concession booths, and suites and so on, a lot of repair work will have to go into that in terms of painting so a lot of work will be going into the entire stadium and not just the field of play in preparation for January, and even more so, for the England tour which begins on the 8th of March,” he said.
Black confirmed that a number of his previous concerns have been addressed to include the purchase of a cutter which will aid significantly in the preparation of the field.
“Earlier in the year we brought a brand new field cutter and that field cutter alone is almost $160,000.00 because you can’t use just a regular stag out on the main field, that would make a mess of it because those are zero-turn so you’d need one that cuts differently,” he said.
“The last few matches we had, the scoreboards are working. It’s not at one hundred percent because there are one or two modules in both of the scoreboards that needed to be changed, but it required money. As is now, both scoreboards are workable,” he added.
As for interest from the expected English fans, Black said the stadium has gotten a number of request regarding the available of suites.
“I can’t tell about ticket sales but I know from the suites we have, and we have about twenty-one suites available for lease, and I can tell you this much, the English crew have been calling and asking about renting these suites and they are just waiting on the final word from us to give them a price, and they will start renting the suites, so that’s a positive for us,” the manager said.
Antigua is set to host matches in the under-19 competition while they will also host England for the first Test of the Richards-Botham trophy.