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Minister McKie visits Arnos Vale Playing Field

Minister McKie visits Arnos Vale Playing Field

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Newly appointed Minister of Sports Cecil McKie has commenced a series of visits to sporting facilities in his new Ministry.{{more}}

Minister McKie officially took up the post on Tuesday, November 21, and spent the first day on the job visiting the Arnos Vale Playing Field, which is in the final stages of upgrading to International Standards to accomodate the first three cricket matches of Australia’s tour of the West Indies 2012.

Three One Day International (ODI) Cricket Matches between the West Indies and Australia are slated to be held here in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on March 16, 18 and 20, 2012.

Chief Agricultural Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture Reuben Robertson said that his Ministry was asked by the National Sports Council on January 5 to provide technical assistance to aid in getting the field ready for the upcoming One Day matches.

Robertson said a Management Recovery Program was put in place to aid in the rehabilitation of the ground, as a result of a number of issues which contributed to the degradation of the field, such as overuse and infestation by mole crickets.

He said as a consequence, the field is now greener and much closer to International Standards and would not have been possible without the hard work of Bill Edwards, who is the Supervisor for the Arnos Vale Playing Field.

Director of the National Sports Council Osbourne Browne said that the field is indeed a success story because of the complete turnaround, noting the condition it was in before and how it is now.

Browne said the field is scheduled to be inspected on Thursday, February 23, by the Chief of Cricket Operations of the West Indies Cricket Board Roland Holder and he has no doubt that Holder will be very surprised at the turnaround.

Meanwhile, Minister McKie is excited about the prospects of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines hosting the three ODI matches in March and is quite pleased with the work which was done on the field.

McKie said the upcoming matches will be historical for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, as this will be the first time that any country in the Caribbean will be hosting three back to back matches at such a level.

He said this gives us an opportunity to look at all aspects of our operations and ensure that we put the necessary mechanisms in place to do what is necessary to achieve the required results.

The Minister also pointed out that it is important to ensure that the condition of the field is kept in top form, even after the ODI matches are played.

He further stated that one of his Ministry’s top priorities will be to look at all sporting facilities throughout Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with respect to where they are now and where they would wish to be.

McKie said they will be looking at ways in which the facilities can be upgraded, so that they will not only be comfortable for persons living in the communities, but to also be utilized in regional and international games, whether it is Cricket, Football or Rugby, but also hard-cout games such as Netball, Basketball and Tennis.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has also been asked to host a four-day A team test in June between West Indies and India.(API)

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