Foster makes pitch for indoor cricket facility in Berbice
Currently, the Chetram Singh Centre of Excellence at La Bonne Intention, East Coast Demerara, is the lone indoor cricket facility in Guyana.
In 2022, Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) President, Hilbert Foster, hopes to make it two, making provisions for one to be built in the county.
Foster was re-elected to the BCB’s top post late last year, and one of the plans on his ambitious developmental agenda is to gain assistance for the construction of an indoor facility in the county.
“One of the things we would really love to have in Berbice, and I will be pleading with the Government for, is an indoor facility. Right now, the rainy season is unpredictable, and we want to play 30-40 tournaments per year, but we only have three-four months of dry weather, bearing in mind you have to give teams time to prepare and get their ground in order,” the BCB Head expressed in a recent interview with News Room Sport.
Foster indicated he expects some assistance in the form of 15 indoor bowling machines from a supporter in Australia.
The Government, through the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, is investing heavily into the development of multi-purpose facilities in Region Two, Six and Ten.
It is understood, the Albion Community Centre Ground, which last hosted international cricket in 1985, will be the one enhanced to a status that it can at least host senior regional cricket matches again.
Apart from such, there is a Ground Enhancement initiative and Foster hopes more grounds in Berbice can benefit.
“A commitment was made that [upgrading] would be done at Albion, but since there are so many cricketers in Berbice, another one [ground] might do the trick,” Foster added.
Foster explained there were rehab works done at grounds at Rose Hall/Canje, Cotton Tree, Bath (West Coast Berbice), Line Path (Skeldon) and Port Mourant. He is hoping that the Area ‘H’ Ground, which is the home of Rose Hall Town and Youth Sports Club, could be given assistance despite it being the property of the Town Council.
The other grounds he hoped for consideration are Fryrish and Cumberland, the latter being home to the Young Warriors Cricket Club – Shimron Hetmyer’s foundation.
Noting the BCB currently has two covers for the square and should be in receipt of two more soon, they are working to acquire more gear for players in the county.
Additionally, there is a concerted push, which in some regards has already borne fruit, for more inter-county cricket being played in the county. Recently, the Guyana Harpy Eagles had two Four-Day practice matches at the Albion ground.
“We have been fighting hard to make sure cricket comes back to Berbice. Berbicians love cricket as a whole, they are very passionate about their players. I am quite sure if regional cricket comes back or inter-county, we could be able to full that ground [Albion] to the 40% capacity for COVID guidelines.”
“I would like to encourage the GCB to ensure more cricket comes to Berbice because when you go to the other counties to see cricket matches, fans are non-existent,” Foster, who is also a Vice-President on the GCB, stated.
The Guyana Cricket Board at a press conference last year listed several tournaments on the agenda and it was indicated that the aim is to have home and away matches for the county teams.