On Target
March 16, 2012
Let us make it an experience

The hosting of the three One Day International Cricket matches between the West Indies and Australia here at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex today, as well as on Sunday and next Tuesday, goes beyond the actual on field display by both teams.{{more}}

Unfortunately, the choice by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to award these matches to St Vincent and the Grenadines has led to us becoming the envy of many of the bigger territories, which think we are not worthy of such matches, especially as it involves a top team like Australia.

But the die has been cast, and the reality is that the matches, barring any catastrophic happenings, will take place right here as set.

Let us think back two years to 2010, when the perceived lowly rated Zimbabwe came here and there were also three matches. No one muttered any disapproval of the schedule.

Lo and behold, everyone wants to shout across the waters and instantly become directors, event managers and advisors to the WICB.

And those who have added their two cents have been vociferous.

Former Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Lester Bird has proffered that more than two consecutive matches should not be given to a single territory.

Also Prime Minister of Jamaica Portia Simpson Miller lent her voice, tongue in cheek at times, but all the same, discredited a place like St Vincent and the Grenadines and its administrative abilities.

On a whole, the Jamaican media, in particular, with others chiming in, went on a verbal tirade on St Vincent and the Grenadines’ being allocated three matches.

It is this type of mouthing and feathered insularity which has wedged the sport of Cricket in the region into its prolonged state of regression.

Amidst the chagrin, officials here did the correct thing; they spoke less and acted with an even higher level of efficiency and sense of purpose. Now it is time to execute.

Most Vincentians understand the magnitude of the task at hand and put their shoulders to the wheel and have brought St Vincent and the Grenadines to this point, where we can stand tall and proud.

Part of the task of those vested in getting the things in place is over; the rest will unfold in the next few days, and even immediately thereafter.

It is always said that one never gets a second chance to make a first impression, and despite the ghosts which still haunt us from the debacles of the 2007 Cricket World Cup, at least

St Vincent and the Grenadines was a beneficiary of the few good points which emerged.

Let us remind ourselves that St Vincent and the Grenadines was host to four teams in the warm up phase of the 2007 Cricket World Cup, and Australia was one.

The Australians were here back in 2008, and obviously we were good hosts, hence, with touring teams having a say in the itineraries, our hospitality, then, may have worked in our favour.

Here they are again, beginning their journey through the Caribbean chain in this much treasured tropical paradise.

Apart from the Australians, over the next few days, our multi-island nation will also host others from the neighbouring territories who will make the trek across the seas.

Additionally, Vincentians who reside in North America and elsewhere are using the occasion to descend on

St Vincent and the Grenadines; another imperative for us being at our best.

The Arnos Vale venue has hosted twenty ODI’s from 1981 to 2010. One of the West Indies’ most successful grounds, the regional side has triumphed in seventeen, including thirteen consecutive wins from 1994 to 2004.

Incidentally, Australia is one of the teams which inflicted a defeat on West Indies; the last being in 2008.

Therefore, history is on the line for the regional side to defend, and the many thousands who are expected to throng the venue can assist immensely with their morale support.

So, at the end of the three matches, let us as Vincentians be able to hold our heads high, knowing we have created that experience which will put us in good stead for future tours.