October 4, 2011
SVG to be in line with pitch preparations

St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be conforming to several of the commitments coming out of a two-day workshop held in Guyana, September 23 and 24, which dealt with pitch preparations.{{more}}

Part of the commitment is to prepare pitches for regional and international cricket which will be more consistent and livelier.

The two-day workshop was facilitated by ICC Pitch Consultant Andy Atkinson along with Chairman of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Pitch and Field Committee Gregory Shillingford and WICB Director of Cricket Tony Howard, and was held at the Guyana National Stadium.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines was officially represented at the workshop by William “Bill” Edwards, a former St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Windwards Under-19 and SVG senior opening batsman, now a supervisor with the National Sports Council.

Also tapping in on the knowledge of the facilitators was Operations Superintendent of the NSC Lauron Baptiste, who attended in a private capacity.

One of the highlights of the workshop was the recommendation that the curators, stadium managers and ground authorities be more circumspect in the use of the grounds, so as to allow for proper preparation of the best pitches for regional and international cricket.

With this, all participants were presented with a manual which they will follow.

Also coming out of the workshop is the initiative to have pre-season meetings with curators, stadium managers, the WICB and the West Indies team Head Coach, to plan for the season ahead and have a clear understanding from the Head Coach of his thinking and the type of pitches which would be required, especially for international cricket.

In recent times, several West Indies captains and head coaches have complained that the pitches in the region are prepared to facilitate their fast bowlers.

The workshop also reaffirmed the need for ground authorities to support the curators with the provision of resources to get the best pitches required.

Atkinson said that there is the need to guard against overuse of the pitches, which is what mitigated against having proper grass coverage. The ICC Pitch Consultant also said that the ground authorities must work towards providing the necessary support, in the form of equipment and resources, to curators for them to be able to properly execute their roles.

Another of the debilitating observations is that too much cricket being played, especially at the international venues and this causes a problem for the curators who cannot then maintain the grass cover.

The attendees and the facilitators came out of the workshop believing that, with all things being equal, there will be consistently better pitches for the 2012 international season. (RT)