Nov 25, 2020 Sports
By Sean Devers
Kaieteur News – When completed the LBI ground on the East Coast of Demerara will be transformed into an International Standard venue with Flood lights, a six lane indoor practice nets, an International standard Media Centre, a Care Taker quarters, self-contained refurbished dorms with a Kitchen, dining facilities and full internet access which could accommodate First-Class players.
The ground is owned by GUYSUCO, hosted senior Inter-County matches in the 1990s and has been leased by the Cricket Guyana Inc (CGI) for 99 years.
“Some time ago we began doing work at the LBI…about a year ago. It has moved significantly, when we started there were dilapidated buildings and the ground was like a pasture. We took it over and we have come a long way.
The surface is completely finished and just a little more grass has to be grown on the pitches.The lights, which are 120 feet, are going up and we are presently doing some sand fillings behind the pillions before we put them up… actually two are already up… so within a week or so everything will be up,” disclosed CWI Director and CEO of Cricket Guyana Inc Anand Sanasie on last Friday’s Sean Devers Sports watch on Kaiteur Radio.
According to the CWI Director, the transformation of the facility is costing a lot and funding is coming from the local board without any borrowing.“Hopefully when CWI is firmly on its feet financially, we will be reimbursed.
The lights are already assembled and only a matter of lifting them into position. There was a slight glitch with getting a crane with the extension to go up to that height but that has been resolved with some solutions from the engineers,” Sanasie continued.
The generator system and all of the cables are in place and a second generator will be added to power the Flood Lights, while rest of the facility with be electrified by GPL.”
“We have finished the main pavilion that was there, we have completed a building to house the caretaker quarters and we have built a new building in which we keep our preparation equipment with space at the top of that building.
In the next phase we will be building the press box …well a stand for the media that meets international standards and the practice facility just to the south of the main pavilion,” added Sanasie, who came up with the elaborate idea.
The national players are currently using the only indoor facility in Guyana at LBI in small numbers at a time, they train there from Monday to Friday except Wednesdays so the Chetram Singh indoor nets, named after the long-serving former GCB President, is being utilised with the rains expected.
Presently there is a two lane nets and the plan is to build a six lane indoor nets with space for a longer run up than is there presently, so fast bowlers can have their full run in.
“The GCB realised many years ago that there was a need for a cricket special training venue, hence we built the Chetram Singh Centre of excellence, it took us five years to negotiate a lease on the entire LBI facility, in less than a year we have completed the playing surface,” Sanasie explained.
A state of the art facility with adequate space outside the playing area, which when fully completed could be rented for various Sporting and Cultural events to generate funding to help sustain the venue.
According to Sanasie, a four-story stand is being built with a capacity of 7,000 with a Gym at the bottom and concession areas and the parking area at the back of the Northern end of the venue in the next phase of construction which has been hampered due to COVID-19 Pandemic which has halted sports since March.
Grass banks for spectators would be built beyond the Eastern and Southern boundaries which is a minimum of 70 Meters from the Pitches which are four feet above the ground, which is three feet at its lowest point, to mitigate against flooding. It was explained that new drainage constructed along the new highway should allow for better drainage.
“The ground is sand based (similar to the Providence Stadium) and was tested during this rainy season and the water drained off quickly which means more cricket being played.
The surface is also important since most of the club grounds struggle to maintain a smooth ground where players can do proper fielding drills.
Those who are Professionals or keen on making cricket a career can practice during the day since the pitches at most clubs are being prepared for 4PM practice,” added TDO of the GCB former West Indies pacer Colin Stuart, also a guest on the programme.
Stuart said the terms and conditions for the utilisation of the venue by the players are being worked out, while Sanasie said there is the possibility that the final of the ongoing GCB/Tropical Spring over-40 T20 tournament could be played at LBI.
Administratively this will be of benefit for the Board since we can set programmes and not worry about unavailability or rent for a venue.
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