Skerritt confident about Guyana’s commitment to invest in cricket facilities
By Akeem Greene
Guyana has been confirmed as one of the four hosts for next year’s International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 50-over World Cup, which will be played from January 14 to February 5.
It will mark the fourth occasion Guyana will host an ICC event. However, since 2006, the National Stadium, Providence, which was built for the 2007 Men’s 50-over World Cup, is still the lone ICC accredited venue.
There is a facility at La Bonne Intention, East Coast Demerara, which is being touted as a potential First-Class venue.
The two venues that will host Under-19 World Cup matches are the National Stadium and Everest Cricket Club, Georgetown.
Cricket West Indies (CWI) President, Ricky Skerritt, indicated that a bidding process will occur to select venues for the World T20 in 2024, which is co-hosted by the Caribbean and the United States of America.
Most of the Caribbean’s high-profile cricket territories have two venues that have accredited status to host at least First-Class matches, and some have two ICC-accredited venues.
Commenting on Guyana improving its facilities to become a stronger force in bidding to host matches, Skerritt indicated on Wednesday, “As we speak right now, there is an investment in facilities taking place in Guyana, we are hopeful and I am confident that Guyana’s government is committed to investing into sporting facilities and certainly cricket facilities, and I have been told so by top officials in the Guyana government, and I have no reason to disbelieve them.”
In February, it was announced sport in Guyana has been given a major boost with $1.5 billion budgeted to facilitate development programmes throughout the country, and of the overall amount, $915.5 million is allocated for the improvement of community grounds countrywide, to expand their use as parks, and create premium, multi-purpose, sporting facilities of international standards in Regions Two, Six and 10.
Additionally, the CWI President contended that hosting ICC events creates a financial stimulus for governments and also allows territorial boards to partner with clubs in order to grow their capacity.
A total of 55 matches will be contested at World T20 in 2024 and the President indicated that 2/3 of those matches will be held in the Caribbean, but they are still weighing the decisions of how many venues given the high travel costs attached.