Sep 04, 2008 Sports Comments Off on El Dorado Inter County cricket to bowl off on September 27
Anna Regina ground will be ready – Mayor
By Sean Devers
Originally scheduled to commence on Saturday, the El Dorado senior 50-overs Inter-County cricket tournament will now bowl off on September 27 when Essequibo face Berbice at Blairmont.
Before last year when Essequibo played Berbice at the Anna Regina Community Centre ground in Region two, first-class and inter-county matches were held at the Hampton Court ground, but plans are on stream to develop the Anna Regina ground, which is centrally located on the Essequibo Coast, into Guyana newest First-class venue.
Funds from the Stanford 20/20 program was used to construct a media centre to the North of the ground and the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) has fixed Essequibo’s second round El Dorado game against Demerara for Anna Regina on October 1 after the Demerara/ Berbice encounter which is set for September 28 in Demerara. The final is fixed for Bourda on October 5.
President of the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB), Alvin Johnson, informed that a letter was sent to the Anna Regina Town Council expressing the Board’s disappointment that the final of the Essequibo Busta Cricket Festival, which was fixed for Anna Regina, had to be hastily switched to the New Opportunity Corps ground due to the unavailability of the Anna Regina venue.
“We have written to the Town Council informing them that we (Cricket Board) have spent a lot of money on the Anna Regina ground only to be told that the ground was unavailable for the Busta final due to CARIFESTA activities at that venue,” Johnson said.
“CARIFESTA is a national event and while we respect the decision to use the ground to host activities and we support the regional event, we are very disappointed that with CARIFESTA finished we still could not use the ground for cricket because a Benab which was used during the CARIFESTA festivities was left on the ground,” Johnson lamented.
Johnson, a Guyana Cricket Board Vice-President, says that he has no problem if cricket grounds are used for other activities once they do not damage the surface or cause the venue to be unavailable for cricket.
With the Inter-County senior one-day competition now pushed back by two weeks, Johnson feels the authorities in Essequibo should have enough time get the ground ready for October 1 when Essequibo host Demerara at Anna Regina and is confident that everything, including electricity in the media centre, will be in place for a match of this magnitude.
And Mayor of Anna Regina Sammy Rampersaud is also confident that the ground will be ready for the Inter-County game.
“I too am a bit disappointed that the Benab was not removed from the ground in time for last Sunday’s Busta final. We must understand that we don’t have many venues for cultural and sporting events on the Coast and that other activities will have to be held at cricket grounds. I however feel that once an activity is finished the venue must be cleaned and prepared so as to not prevent other activities from taking place. I was out of the county and it is unfortunate that the Benab was not removed,” the Mayor said.
He promised that the Anna Regina ground will be a great host venue when Essequibo face Demerara and encouraged all Essequibo fans to come out on October 1 to support their team.
Since the demise of the Hampton Court ground, the lack of facilities has badly affected cricket on the Essequibo Coast with the Imam Bacchus ground, which had one of the quickest pitches in the country, now being used as a venue for the growing of plants and flowers for sale by the owner.
The Suddie ground is still unfit to host matches although the country’s only indoor practice facility has been built just beyond the Southern boundary of the bush infested Suddie ground.
According to Essequibo Cricket Board official Carl Brandon, the simple facility has two concrete and a turf pitch which are under a roof and surrounded by a chain link fence with a net just behind the batsman.
Brandon informed that the indoor facility was provided as a part of the Guyana Micro-Projects programme and financed by the European Commission and the Government of Guyana and servers as one of the Youth Skills and Empowerment centers.
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