Plans for A. O. Shirley
Recreation Grounds excludes Cricket
Combined Virgin Islands lost their 3-day Leeward Islands Cricket Association
encounter to Montserrat at the A. O. Shirley Recreation Grounds on June 27, it
marked the last regional match that will be played at the venue that has hosted
the sport for the last 36 years. After the local season ends in the coming
weeks, the BVI Cricket Association must find a new home.
has been giving me a nightmare,” association president Theodore Skeete lamented.
“I have learnt that there are some plans by the present
administration—government that is—to put down an artificial surface for track
and field. I would only hope that if that decision is made and if that project
is realized, that government would in the not too distant future, have us
Skeete said it
isn’t the best idea when one thinks of the February to March Carib Cup series.
Scheduled matches over the last two years, including Kenya this year, have been
played elsewhere. “All this information I have brought to the attention of the
minister of sports, (Lloyd) Black,” Skeete said. “From talking with him, I must
say that I’ve gotten the impression and more than the impression that he wants
to see some more Carib Cup cricket here.”
plans for the grounds will affect Cricket and he’s currently having discussions
with a real estate company to look at areas throughout the BVI that can possibly
be leased for other sporting organizations such as cricket and soccer. “While
they will be affected in the short term, we are mindful of the concerns that
they have and we are actively looking for land that we can use to erect other
sporting facilities to benefit other organizations,” Black said.
Skeete says he
want to believe that policy makers would not do anything to prevent or reduce
the possibility or the potential of any Carib Cup match coming to the BVI. “Yes,
the Carib Cup brings in visitors, tourists who are going to spend dollars. And
if we base our argument on the first Busta Cup match that was brought here, that
is the right way to go,” he suggested. “And if that is the right way to go, then
to do anything with the A. O. Shirley Grounds that would prevent the Carib Cup
from coming here next year, in my view would be a relatively unwise decision.”
work on the track is expected to begin before year end. “I would anticipate that
cricket would be affected for approximately one year. If we can find the
property sooner, there should not be any interruption in the games that would be
scheduled such as the Busta Cup which can be held here in the BVI,” Black
explained. “But, in the short team, that there would probably be a one year
break before we can get back into competitive leagues.”
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