ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – Coolidge Cricket Ground, a venue once the epicentre of Twenty20 cricket in the region, is one of 11 venues which will fall under the International Cricket Council’s microscope in coming days, in preparation for next year’s Women’s T20 World Cup in the Caribbean.
The former Stanford Cricket Ground, which played host to the now defunct Stanford T20 Series, will be assessed by the ICC team as one of two venues in Antigua, along with the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium. Coolidge was acquired as a joint venture between Cricket West Indies and the Antigua and Barbuda government, and subsequently hosted two phases of this year’s Regional Super50 and last month’s T20 series between West Indies Women and Sri Lanka Women.
Simon Jelowitz, ICC’s senior event operations manager, who is leading the delegation, said the stadia assessment was an important element in laying the groundwork for a successful tournament next November.
“The ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2018 will take place on the back of the ground-breaking ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 in the United Kingdom,” he said.
“As such, it is important we come here a year out to inspect the venues and, finalise operational, marketing and promotional details in collaboration with Cricket West Indies, so that we can put together an event which not only maintains the momentum from the ICC Women’s World Cup 201, but takes the women’s game to the next level. “Over the enxt 12 months, we will work closely with CWI to put together a truly global event with the Caribbean flavour which, in turn, will not only inspire young girls and boys to take up the sport, but also attract new audiences.”
The newly-opened Brian Lara Stadium, which will become the region’s newest first class venue on Thursday, is among the list of venues to be assessed, along with Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain.
Historic Kensington Oval in Barbados and 3W’s Oval, just outside the capital Bridgetown, will be joined by Sabina Park in Jamaica, Grenada’s National Stadium, the Guyana National Stadium, the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground and Warner Park.
CWI Commercial Manager, Nelecia Yeates, welcomed the inspection, noting there would be several aspects involved.
“The region should be very familiar with these venue inspections, following our staging of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 and the ICC World Twenty20 2010,” she said.
“There are several aspects to tournaments of this nature and the ICC team will be inspecting venues from an operational and marketing perspective – looking at playing, spectators, broadcast, sponsor and media facilities.
“The best female players in the World will be on show and we want show the best of the Caribbean to the World, so we need to assess the capability of each venue, since we will have just under a year to put everything in place and execute.”
The venues are expected to be approved at an ICC meeting next February, following recommendations from CWI.
West Indies are the defending Women’s T20 World champions.