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What are the implications?


The recent revelation that St. Vincent and the Grenadines will not host any of the international Cricket matches in 2011 cannot be taken lightly.

Undoubtedly, the implications are far reaching.{{more}}

The hosting of international Cricket matches at the Arnos Vale One Playing Field goes beyond the actual matches themselves.

Although as host, much money is spent preparing the venue and other facilities to ensure we deliver, the country itself gets some international profiling.

Apart from our local Cricket Board getting some monies in its coffers, the local entrepreneurs get some bite of the cake, albeit in small bits.

With no international Cricket here next year, we have found ourselves in a quandary, as with Dominica upgraded to international status, that could mean that we have been relegated, as St. Lucia is already out front among the Windward Islands.

In the current scenario, where St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada have not been included in the 2011 package, it can be surmised that Dominica has replaced these two.

What if Dominica makes a good showing in all areas of assessment, what will become of us for future matches?

Will we have to wait for the Zimbabwe and Bangladesh tours or A Team matches for some international factors to come our way?

There are other factors, such as hotel capacity, and other amenities in which we lag, which sometimes put us at a disadvantage, when we are pitted against the larger territories.

Therefore, it is imperative for us to make up in other respects, as the picturesque nature of the Arnos Vale venue, alone, cannot sell us and tip the scale for us against others who are bargaining for the same slots.

Additionally, the authorities will have to pull out all the stops and ensure that a Replay Screen is put in, as this could have been one of the things that worked against us for next year’s packed itinerary.

We in these islands always have to redouble our efforts as often times the issue of insularity sets in, and the said determiners of the fixturing of the matches take home town sentiments, while they are hard task masters in relation to the smaller and more vulnerable venues like St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

But we cannot mope at our situation, but find plausible ways to fix it, if not we could be sidelined.

While on our end we have to do what we have to do to fall in line, the West Indies Cricket Board(WICB) must be reminded that the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines invested over EC$54 millions to upgrade its facilities for the hosting of international fixtures. It should also be remembered that no financial assistance from China or any other donor country came our way; it was all paid for from the local coffers aided by the sweat of tax payers.

They (WICB), therefore, have a responsibility to ensure that the proverbial “Cricket pie” is equitably distributed and that “white elephant” situations are not orchestrated in the smaller territories.

There is that usual element of rotation of international cricket matches in the region even though Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago , Guyana and Jamaica are the ones which are the first look territories when the top ranked teams tour, thus ensuring that their venues are always more profitable in terms of gate receipts.

The lesser venues, the minnows, have to make do with hosting of the less attractive teams where, obviously, the profit margin would be less. Funnily enough, though, this turns around in a backhanded sense, and these “lesser” venues seem to be victimized for not being as profitable as the larger territories which attract the better teams.

Having an equitable system of match rotation in the Windward Islands also should ensure that Dominica would not hog the show when internationals are hosted in the sub-region, and the fact that a Dominican is the President of the Windward Islands Cricket Board of Control should, therefore, not mean that Dominica adds to the woes of SVG. Let us have an equitable rotation of international matches in the West Indies.

No rotation but total removal of that “ Mound” at the Sion Hill Playing Field.

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