Jan 22, 2009 Sports Comments Off on Antigua forfeit hosting Guyana/Leewards match
By Sean Devers
Financial problems continue to affect West Indies cricket resulting in the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) fourth-round regional four-day First-Class match between Leeward Islands and Guyana being switched from Antigua to Nevis.
The Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) said that it was not in a position to stage the fourth-round fixture which was due to start on January 30 because of venue and financial issues and WICB Director Chetram Singh yesterday confirmed that the switch will increase the cost for airfare for the Guyana team to get to Nevis.
Singh, President of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) told Kaieteur Sports that the Leeward Islands Cricket Association (LICA) explained that because the match has been fixed during the peak tourism season, hotel cost is very high which was a main reason for the switch since the host Board is given a budget to handle financial matters for matches in their territory.
“The switch will cost the WICB more since 15 tickets (without names) were already booked for the Guyana team to travel to Antigua. The team will now have to make the extra leg from Antigua to Nevis which will cost more,” Singh said.
ABCA Vice-President Leon Rodney said venue constraint was also a factor in the game being moved from the 108-sqaure-mile Island of Antigua, which has not hosted a regional First-Class game in the last five years because it has not proven to be a financially viable undertaking.
“The situation is that we have made a decision that we won’t be hosting the game. It’s a venue constraint because we are really short on venues. Our economic condition is also a deterrent.” Rodney stated.
It is reported that the news sparked a heated exchange of words on a national radio station in Antigua between Rodney and local government minister Winston Williams.
Singh explained that since it was a LICA match, they could switch the game to any Leeward Island, much in the same manner that Guyana could switch a game from Albion to Bourda because of weather or any other reason.
It is understood that there is some concern at the WICB level that for venues to be given International matches, regional games should also be played at those venues.
According to Manager of the Guyana team Carl Moore the last-minute switch should not adversely affect his team since they were mentally prepared to travel overseas for their third match in the seven-team competition.
Moore, the Guyana senior team Manager since 2003, added that the conditions should not be that different from Antigua.
Guyana last played in Nevis in 2005 when Sewnarine Chattergoon, who batted with a runner in the second innings, became the only opener to score a regional First-Class century without running a single run as Guyana, who lost first innings points to the Leewards, held on for a draw. Guyana last played a First-Class game in Antigua in January 2001.
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