While some are asking why aren’t the crowds turning out at Grove Park to watch the cricket, I am asking, are those in authority really serious about the game?
Of course, there are a combination of reasons why only a small gathering of hard core cricket lovers were at the park on Sunday to witness a well put together innings of 99 by Keiron Powell. Just a few more were there later in the afternoon to see captain Runako Morton scoring a very good century as he ended on 122 not out. The cricket loving Nevisian public certainly turned their backs on the game that we are so very proud of. One hopes that was just an isolated occasion and we’ll soon get back to supporting the game the way we once did.
The cricket itself was pretty good despite the fact that both teams ended the season at the bottom of the list on points. The wicket was decent and enabled batsmen and bowlers from both teams to achieve reasonable success.
Keiron’s Powell’s innings of 85 and 99 in his debut match for the Leeward Islands was certainly the most outstanding feature. He richly deserves the man of the match award and here goes yet another Nevisian, loudly knocking on the door of West Indies test selection. One wishes him good luck and a happy journey throughout his cricketing career.
What happened on Monday that prevented play on the final day was in my opinion one of the reasons why we must ask ourselves, are we serious about cricket? Nevis has the highest per capita number of Test cricketers, Nevis has been constantly producing talented players, yet still, like it happened on Monday, a small shower of rain at Grove Park early in the morning prevented a prompt start to the final days’ play. True, the showers poured in the afternoon but by then the damage had already had its effect on a bright and sunny morning.
Now, don’t get me wrong here. I am not bringing politics into the cricket but the truth must be told. On the eastern side of the field is an area that gathers water and it has been like that for in excess of 10 years. The lightest shower of rain early in the morning or over night, usually results in a delayed start of play. The problem is known, that facts are clear, the drainage is poor and the problem can be rectified.
It was over two years ago when the NNC cameras and crew rolled into Grove Park and highlighted that specific problem. It was around that same time when Grove Park ground and facilities constantly came under heavy criticism. Around that same time as well, negotiations were made to tackle and rectify that drainage problem and at the same time to resurface and re-grass the entire outfield at Grove Park.
As of today, nothing has been done and the swampy outfield affects not only cricket, but all sports at the park. Those voices that now have the handle have gone dumb on the subject and an entire days’ play was lost in a first class cricket match on Nevis.
Meanwhile, it appears that work has already begun on a drag-racing strip here on our beautiful little island, Nevis. That undertaking is expected to cost millions of dollars while Grove Park that hosts so many activities annually remains untouched. Now, are we truly serious?