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The Good, the Bad, the Ugly of Cricket

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This country hosted its seventeenth One Day international Cricket match here at the picturesque Arnos Vale Playing Field, last week Tuesday, June 24.

And, the contest between the West Indies and world champions Australia served up the good, the bad and the ugly.{{more}}

The Good

It was heartening that the match, the first in the series, as well as the first major cricket match since the refurbishment of the venue, was well attended. Reports are that the attendance was in the region of about 9000.

As a people, it was commendable in the main. There were no major disruptions to cause any panic or threaten patrons’ safety. Apart from the general good conduct of patrons, the security officers were more understanding this time around, and were not as over zealous as they were at the warm up World Cup matches last year.

It was also a welcome boost for this country once more in the cricketing circles, after being sidelined since 2005, with 2007 being the World Cup year.

Also, the fact that Vincentians and visitors alike could have enjoyed the match free of the inhibitions and strangling restrictions of last year’s World Cup ensured that it was an occasion spiced with a true Caribbean flavour.

The work of the groundsmen must come in for high commendation, for despite the heavy showers the previous day, play began on time with little delay. Kudos to those who put in the drainage system at the grounds, which is working at its optimum.

In addition, to hear some members of the Australian press speak glowingly of the excellent view from the Media Center was another plus to this country’s cricket infrastructure, and refreshing to the ear.

The Bad

The West Indies team’s performance takes the prize among the list of undesirables. Poor bowling, equally indifferent fielding and an insipid display of batting, mixed with a body language did not say much for a team that carries the hopes of a few millions in the Caribbean.

It seems that the players are not aware of the rich legacy left by their predecessors. They strolled around the field nonchalantly, more concerned about their appearance, fixing their gold chains or adjusting their head gear and fashionable sunglasses.

While these were done, the efficient Australians pulled the rug from under their feet and thrashed them with neglect.

These guys are oblivious to those who packed the stands, made noises, waved their hands, sacrificed their time and hard earned money, and who argued at the street corners and bars.

Not spared was the Executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association who should hold their heads in shame for the poor operation of the scoreboard. Was it in operation?

No one on the ground could have followed with any degree of accuracy the progress of the game, as the board was in total disarray. It was a total disgrace to say the least.

Again, the SVGCA continues not knowing how to get the small things nor the big things right.

Maybe the goodly gentlemen were too busy meddling in things in which they had no calling.

Then the venue was at its biggest test since its redo. However, some of the facilities at the Arnos Vale Playing Field are stilling wanting. It is clear that it is not user friendly.

Simple signs directing to the washrooms, exits and to the bars are almost non existent. Again, the guys at the Local Organising Committee have slipped up in this area.

The Frank Thomas Pavilion is yet to have its name repainted, so it stands as structure without proper identification. We cannot take it for granted that everyone knows his/her whereabouts at the Field, nor is everyone prepared to ask for directions. Maybe a map of the Arnos Vale Playing Field could be posted at the main, detailing the facilities, complemented with brochures.

These are areas that must be fixed soonest, as we seek to put our most expensive sporting facility in line with at least regional standards.

The Ugly

The unfortunate bottle throwing incident was undoubtedly the ugliest of the ugly.

Of concern, our people have lost all sense of reasoning, hence we react to things irrationally, with the option of reflective thinking.

But, coming in a close second, was the sight of our women folk lowering their guard of decency. Some in their stupor caused by the overuse of alcoholic beverages lay prostrate, with some uncontrollable gyration, with the excuse of having a good time. Done with the aim of being caught on camera. What a pity!

We have all of a sudden acquired an insatiable appetite for things with low moral value, further shredding the already porous fabric that holds us in line with sanity.

The boundaries of what is acceptable as proper behaviour were clearly extended last week Tuesday, as some of our gems certainly came up short.

Equally degrading was the unsightly exposure of both sexes publicly urinating in the area of the Party Stand. Sadly, some of the foreign press delighted in capturing the acts on camera and made some unsavoury comments to go with it.

I know as a people that we can do better than that. But as the saying goes, “When the rum is in, the wit is out.”

Still remaining as an ugly appearance of a structure is the “Mound” at the Sion Hill Playing Field.

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