I was fortunate to see the first one day match between West Indies A and England’s Lions the night before last at the Coolidge ground in Antigua, that West Indies won by five runs. As I was watching the telecast my thoughts wandered to the Albion Sports Complex ground given the condition of the Coolidge ground. Editor, to say that the condition of the Coolidge ground is poor would be an understatement; it is not fit for cricket at this level. There are many bare patches in the ground devoid of grass, and in some areas the surface is uneven. Seating accommodation is limited in the stands, along with a few grass mounds, and there were less than one hundred spectators in the ground.
Editor, the reason I mention all this is because if one should compare Coolidge with the Albion Sports Complex the standard and condition of the Albion ground is far superior to the Coolidge. It therefore begs the question why no regional or international cricket is being played at the Albion ground. Albion has excellent lighting facilities; the outfield is in superb condition thanks to GuySuCo and the management of Albion Estate; and the stands can accommodate fifteen thousand spectators easily. The commentators’ booth can do with a little bit of sprucing up but internet access is available at the ground. Coupled with all of these we now have a bridge across the Berbice River and three international hotels, two in New Amsterdam and one in Corriverton. Imagine when the Albion Sports Complex hosted the very first one day international in Guyana and the West Indies in 1977, West Indies v Pakistan, we had none of these facilities and amenities, yet there was a sold-out crowd of around 20,000 people. Berbicians are starved of regional and international cricket and it pains me to see cricket being played in substandard grounds in the Caribbean and we cannot even get regional or A team games at the Albion Sports Complex.
Editor, I would like to appeal to Mr Dave Cameron of Cricket West Indies to come himself or send someone on a fact-finding tour to verify what I mention here, so that we can have cricket again at Albion. I can wager that if we have a Regional one day or 20/20 or any A team game at the Albion Sports Complex ground there will be a sold out crowd. If we have regional or international cricket at Albion, we will be forever thankful to Mr Cameron.