CWI pitch curator rates Arnos Vale Grounds as ready for competition
Ken Crafton (left) along with NSC manager Nixon McLean, keeping a close watch as the pitch at Arnos Vale is rolled diagonically (photo by Robertson S Henry)
June 11, 2024

CWI pitch curator rates Arnos Vale Grounds as ready for competition

Cricket West Indies chief pitch curator, Ken Crafton, is satisfied with the pitch at the Arnos Vale Stadium with just days to go before the first ball is bowled off there in the CWI Men’s T/20 World Cup Tournament. The main Arnos Vale 1 grounds boasts six wickets as do the two other grounds at Arnos Vale 2, and Sion Hill that will be used as practice venues.

“I can tell you my gut feeling, and it also goes along with the fact that we had a test on pitch number one on the square over the past weekend. With the videos and feedback I got it was really, really encouraging. It has consistent bounce and pace but was carrying through nicely. So based on that and also the work we are putting in right now in that final preparation, I am very comfortable that we will have a very good cricket pitch here at Arnos Vale,” Crafton told SEARCHLIGHT last Wednesday June 12, 2024. He noted the long journey

that it has taken to refurbish the physical facilities along with the grounds, and while expressing some disappointment that ground staff had veered from the work plan, Crafton felt things had been righted well in time for Thursday, when St Vincent and the Grenadines hosts its first of five games in the tournament.

William “Bill” Edwards watering the pitch at the Arnos Vale Cricket Grounds on Wednesday evening. (photo by Robertson S Henry)

“ At this stage, I’m really, really happy and pleased and satisfied with where we are. I can see that we have a fully grassed surface and we are getting the compaction in as I’m speaking right now.”

Crafton also has responsibility for supervising pitch preparations at the other 2024 ICC Men’s T/20 Cricket World Cup host territories, and left a programme for pitch preparation with the ground staff in each those host territories.

He did not identify which of the grounds has strayed from the blue print but said, “generally, I know we can do better. We have what it takes. We have the plans and we just need to ensure that we implement them”.

All 12 wickets at the two practise grounds in SVG have been prepared with the same consistency as the Arnos Vale 1 main ground and Crafton said,”…we expect them to play similar to the main square here at Arnos Vale Cricket Ground”.

Following the conclusion of the 2024 ICC Men’s T/20 Cricket World Cup it is expected that a full assessment would be carried out on the various pitches in the host territories and Cricket West Indies will take the necessary steps to ensure that the Caribbean pitches are consistent in quality and meet international standards.

“I am sure that will be priority on the list…and, of course, part of my responsibility will be to give a report on the World Cup and the pitches,” Crafton concluded.