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Pickwick Cricket Club
Thursday 27, May-2004
by Tony Cozier
PICKWICK Cricket Club’s 124th annual general meeting today is likely be its last at Kensington Oval, as it prepares to vacate one of international cricket’s most famous venues that has been its home since its formation in 1882.
In its report for 2003, Pickwick’s committee of management has acknowledged that previously announced plans to redevelop Kensington for the 2007 World Cup “make the ability of the club to function there impossible”.
It stated that Pickwick and the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) had come to an agreement that it would be in the “best interests of all parties” if the club were to leave Kensington and develop another ground.
“It is going to be a massive undertaking with estimates in excess of a million dollars to develop a ground and club house,” the committee added.
The report revealed that it had an offer, in writing, from Sir David Seale, head of the club’s sponsors, R.L.Seale and Company, to make available land at Four Square, St Philip, to be used to develop a new playing facility.
A committee under member Deighton Smith “has been established to deal with all aspects of matters pertaining to the relocation of the club”.
It said it had put a proposal to the BCA for compensation to be paid to Pickwick for “its years of upkeep at Kensington as well as its ownership of the pavilion”.
But, since nothing had yet been agreed to on this score, it had indicated to the BCA that it intended to renew its lease that expired in February.
Pickwick had been the tenant at Kensington since its establishment as Barbados’ second cricket club in 1882, five years after Wanderers.
Since Wanderers relocated from the Bayland to Dayrell’s Road in 1952, Kensington remains Barbados’ oldest ground.
Apart from cricket, Pickwick oncefielded teams in football and men’s and women’s hockey, a sport of which it was a pioneer and in which it reigned supreme, along with Combermere School Old Boys (CSOB), in the 1950s and 1960s.
It has produced six West Indies Test players, including two captains, Teddy Hoad and John Goddard. Vasbert Drakes is the latest.
It still has teams in the BCA’s first, reserve and second divisions and in the Hockey Federation’s women’s league but has dropped out of football and men’s hockey.
Pickwick first rented land on Kensington Plantation from its owner, Foster Alleyne, at the nominal fee of a penny a year and turned it into the finest in the island, replacing the Garrison Savannah and the Wanderers ground in the Bayland as the venue for inter-territorial and international matches.
It staged its first international match, Barbados against R.Slade Lucas’ team from England, in 1895, and the West Indies first Test in the Caribbean, against England, in 1930.
Ownership of the ground changed hands in 1914 when it was bought from Kensington Plantation at public auction for 250 pounds by a group on behalf of the Barbados Cricket Committee (BCC), the forerunner of the BCA that was formed in 1933.
It has subsequently been leased and released by the trustees to Pickwick under certain agreements. The BCA has responsibility for the upkeep and development of the stands and first call on the ground for use for major matches.
Compliments of the Nation News
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