Cricket facilities with no marketing plan

The case of St Vincent

The Prime Minister and Minister of Finance spent much of his time attempting to explain to the nation the amount of money spent on the cricket facilities at Stubbs, Arnos Vale # 1 and # 2 and Sion Hill. He seemed to think that it was an investment in the future of the game in the country.

Evidence has shown that for all of the millions spent on Arnos Vale # 1 there are major problems that seem well beyond the capacity of the current custodians to adequately manage.

There is certainly no promotional activity pitched at the regional and international markets for use of the facilities that we spent millions to produce. Vincentians have also not been privy to any marketing plans for the facilities.

The warm up matches for the CWC were hosted in St Vincent in March 2008 and no one can reasonably explain the continued existence of the Local Organizing Committee. Try as he must even the Prime Minister now appears to have great difficulty explaining it to the nation.

Already we are witnessing the deterioration of the Arnos Vale # 1 as a direct result of the sea blast and nothing has really happened for one full year since the CWC2007 warm up matches. It may all have to do with the absence of resources to provide adequate maintenance.

Then there is the matter of the beaches into which we have transformed our major playing fields, thanks to the wisdom of the LOC and its cricket buffs.

The refurbished playing fields have been filled with massive inflows of sand as the underlay. The sand is our local bay sand. The sand takes in the heat and in the hot days we are having allows for very rapid evaporation of whatever moisture is provided via rain or regular watering. The net result is that the new fields are looking like a sick child whose skin is characterized by ugly blemishes at every turn. Of course over the past few weeks the Arnos Vale # 1 has taken on the look of a heavily blotched organism, far removed from the lush pasture we once knew it to be while dubbed the best in the region.

Cricketers now refer to the Stubbs Playing Field as, The Beach, so much sand is on the arena that they are convinced that it has all been misplaced.

Sion Hill remains something of an anomaly with the people of the community still in awe over the reorientation of the football field and the provision what one commentator from the area has dubbed, The Mound.

The facilities are now not any good for the peaking of our athletes. They are ideal for conditioning but as the competitive season comes around the legs get too weary and the athletes, regardless of which sport is being played, find the going exceedingly tough.

If the cricketers are complaining it must mean that there is much that is wrong and we need some urgent analysis of what it is and seek creative ways of correcting it.