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BARBADOS - cricket 2007

Respect due visiting teams

Date December 24, 2007 Compliments of the Nation News

THE CARIBBEAN has over the years looked to Barbados to set and maintain cricket standards.

Dubbing Kensington Oval the "Mecca" of Caribbean cricket was a tag which could hardly be disputed. The saying "when Barbados' cricket is strong, West Indies cricket is strong" was no idle boast in days of yore. Barbados regularly had six players, sometimes more on the West Indies team and also frequently out-played international touring teams.

Barbados not only produced the most West Indian Test cricketers but won more regional first-class cricket titles than all the other territories. Success not only came because of the many outstanding cricketers, now branded the Cricket Legends of Barbados, but through proper planning and preparation by efficient administrators.

That is why it is a prerequisite for the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) to sustain high standards of hospitality and not subject visiting national teams to sub-standard facilities. Media and players' comfort must be paramount.

In this respect, it was really shameful that the BCA scheduled a series of warm-up Twenty20 matches for the Maxwell Club, Briar Hall, Christ Church, against

St Vincent with our reserve players, outfitted in an assortment of multi-coloured track pants.

Indeed, Maxwell, with its scenic surroundings and bouncy pitch can be developed into an excellent ground, but presently, it is not suitable to stage matches of such magnitude. Priority must be given to the venues with first-class status for major matches.

The pint-size dressing rooms are woefully inadequate and having a team meeting is a no-no as all the players cannot sit comfortably in the small space. But this is a common feature with National Sports

Council-owned pavilions and Government must inform contractors and those who do the designs and drawings that match-box dressing rooms for modern-day cricketers with large gear bags are outdated.

It was an extremely ugly sight to see players' equipment scattered across the ground, and to compound matters, having lunch served in a cramped area with no seating.

Consequently, the final trial match starting Thursday should be switched to Kensington as Barbados' cricketers must get the feel of the pitch instead of feeling like strangers at home when the 2008 Carib Beer Series starts.

 

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Dwayne Smith pommels another delivery six during his explosive 94 which came off just 63 balls at the 3Ws Oval against Jamaica yesterday. (Picture by Gordon Brooks.)

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