Sir Viv delighted by return of stadium to ICC schedule

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards is delighted that the stadium carrying his name has returned to the International Cricket Council’s schedule.

The venue was suspended for a year from hosting international matches after the abandonment of the second Test between West Indies and England last February due to an unsafe, sandy outfield, especially the bowlers’ run-up.

However, the West Indies Cricket Board announced this week the ground would now host two Twenty20 and One-Day Internationals during the next month’s South Africa tour.

“I was there when the recent inspections took place and I had an idea this decision was coming. With what would have happened in that abandoned Test match [this] is great for Antigua and Barbuda,” said Sir Viv, West Indies’ most successful Test captain.

“There have been lots of improvements and I am happy with what I have seen. Everything seems to be in stride for some cricket to take place.”

The stadium will host the T20Is on May 19 and 20 before staging the ODI doubleheader on May 22 and 24.

Authorities were forced to move the games from Trinidad and Tobago to facilitate the country’s General Elections on May 24.

Sir Viv, who averaged 50 from 121 Tests, said the debacle at the ground had been difficult to take.

“I remembered saying on the day in particular that it was like a dagger going through your heart. When daggers go through your heart it is fairly hard to recover,” Sir Viv said.

“Through the legs you stand a chance but it was a heavy, heavy blow in terms of how I felt. It is nice to know that we would have moved on and we have had the necessary folks on the island to make sure that everything is in perfect order for us to start cricket again. Hopefully, [there will be] no more hiccups in the future.”

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