Sometime last year the Providence Stadium cricket pitch was relaid. At the time the authorities said it was being done to improve the pace of the wicket, which had previously been considered a spinner’s paradise and which did little to improve the quality of our cricket.
The relaying has long been completed and a few regional and international matches have been played on the strip. Statistics from these matches point to a similar old pattern where batsmen have struggled and spinners dominate.
The authorities have not made any comment on whether the relaying achieved its objective or whether the old conditions still remain. Statistics seem to indicate the latter. But then again it could just be a reflection of the poor quality of our batsmen in the region. (Hopefully local cricket analysts like Sean Devers or John Ramsingh can shed some more light on this.)
The attempt by the cricket administrators to improve the Providence pitch is very commendable. Whether it achieved its aim should be made public at a time when pitches in the Caribbean are a central focus, because of the inability of our international players to cope with the bouncy tracks in New Zealand. If it was a success, it should be used as a model for other territories. If it failed, there should be a careful review to determine why the intended result failed and what could be the possible factors.
The survival of WI cricket is dependent on the region improving the pitches so that we can produce better cricketers. It has reached crisis point, and everyone needs to get on board and look at the bigger picture. Guyana made its effort to improve its pitch. The public needs to know whether it was a success or a failure.