Organizers host curator’s workshop across six venues ahead of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

By Sports Desk March 08, 2024

As preparations continue for the hosting of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, organizers will be hosting a series of workshops for the pitch and outfield curators as well as other members of the ground staff who will be responsible for the venues and facilities across the region.

Over 50 staff members in the six host nations in the West Indies will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of International Cricket Council (ICC) and Cricket West Indies (CWI) officials as part of the workshops and developmental courses which started on March 6 and will end on March 27.

Roland Holder, CWI Manager of Cricket Operations and Head of Cricket for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, outlined the reasons behind the series of workshops.

He said the upcoming series is crafted by CWI and designed to upskill existing curators across the region by exposing them to international best practices for pitch preparation and applicable maintenance, while simultaneously expanding the cadre of curators by identifying new talent with the appropriate combination of theoretical knowledge and practical exposure, to lend further expertise to match venues as we seek to deliver a world-class event in June.

“We are enthusiastic about these workshops and educational seminars across the region. It is great to know that over 50 members of our ground staff will benefit from this series of seminars which has been strategically set-up in the six region host territories for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup,” Holder said.

He continued: “This is geared towards ensuring that the persons with responsibility for the pitch, outfield, and other facilities on the ground will benefit from the knowledge available, in line with international best practices and in keeping with the highest standards.

“We are aware this is for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, but also post-World Cup, as good pitches lead to good cricket with an even contest between bat and ball. This is an essential area of preparation for what will be the biggest event ever hosted in the West Indies.”

The workshops will include both indoor educational sessions and outdoor practical events. They started at Antigua and Barbuda on March 7-8, and will next move to St Lucia from March 11-12, then on to St Vincent and the Grenadines on March 14-15. From there the series moves to Barbados from March 18-19, and Guyana for the period March 21-22, before concluding in Trinidad and Tobago on March 25-26.

These six countries will host matches in the ninth edition of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup which will be played from June 1 to 29. West Indies, which hosted the event in 2010, will hold matches at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Kensington Oval, Guyana National Stadium, Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, Arnos Vale, and Brian Lara Cricket Academy.

The event will be the largest in the tournament’s history with 20 international teams playing 55 matches across nine locations. It is the first time USA will host matches at a T20 World Cup, with 16 first-round matches split between Nassau County International Cricket Stadium (New York), Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium (Dallas), and Broward County Stadium (Lauderhill).

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    So far, the experience at the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup has been a fantastic one for the West Indies.

    The two-time champions and joint hosts have won all three of their matches in Group C against Papua New Guinea, Uganda and New Zealand and have already secured a spot in the Super 8.

    A win over Afghanistan in their final Group Stage game at the Daren Sammy Cricket Stadium in St. Lucia on Monday will see them advance as winners of Group C.

    Their opponents also have three wins in as many games and are currently top of the group with a superior net run rate, 4.230 to 2.596.

    West Indies skipper Rovman Powell addressed the media on Sunday ahead of Monday’s encounter.

    “Obviously, it's a top of the table clash. Afghanistan have been playing good T20 cricket and consistent T20 cricket. They have a lot of match winners. So, it's something that we have to come with our best game. As I said before, they're playing good T20 cricket. So, it's an opportunity for us to play against another world class side. Very good practice going into the Super 8 games,” he said.

    The hosts have played their three games in Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago and are looking forward to playing at the Daren Sammy Stadium in St. Lucia, a pitch known as one of the better ones in the region for batting.

    “Yeah, definitely. When we look on the schedule, all the batters were excited to come to St. Lucia. Traditionally, St. Lucia have been a place where batters like to bat. It's also an opportunity for bowlers to bowl good spells here, especially the fast bowlers. We think that St. Lucia offer 60 - 40 in terms of, from a batting perspective, to bowl. And so, if you are a bowler, or if you are a batter, you definitely can get something out of the St. Lucia wicket,” Powell said.

    One major concern for the West Indies has been the form of opener Johnson Charles who has scored 44 runs in three games, so far, with all 44 of those runs coming against Uganda.

    Powell says he expects Charles to come good at some point and is encouraging him to continue to be aggressive at the top of the innings.

    “It's just a case of us telling him to be Johnson Charles, be his natural self. If he's an aggressive player, we expect him to play aggressive. But with that aggression, we know at some point he will fail and at some point, he will come good. So, it's for us now to support him, it's for us now to give him that additional backing that he needs and I think everyone is behind him to come good tomorrow or when he gets the opportunity in the future games,” he said.

    Since the tournament, the regional side have climbed up to number three in the ICC T20 International rankings.

    Naturally, a team playing a home World Cup will face pressure to perform well but this bump in ranking will only magnify that pressure.

    Powell says the team is aware and ready for the challenge ahead.

    “I think pressure is always there, especially when you're at home, especially when you're playing a World Cup at home. Pressure is always there, but it's for us as individuals to manage that pressure,” he said.

    “I think for me as captain, when I started this journey 12 or 14 months ago, when I took over as captain, we were at eight or nine in the ranking. To see us at number three now in the world is a pleasing feeling. And it shows that not just myself, but the players are coming together and we're doing something right. I've never played in a West Indies team that is ranked number three in the world. So that for me is something special and hopefully, just hopefully, we can continue to climb those rankings,” he added.

     

     

     

     

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    No Bangladesh player made more than Shakib Al Hasan's 17 runs as Dipendra Singh Airee (2-22), Rohit Paudel (2-20) and Sandeep Lamichhane (2-17) all impressed with the ball. 

    However, a blistering opening spell from Tanzim Hasan Sakib, who finished with career-best T20I figures of 4-7 – ensured that measly figure was enough. 

    Tanzim got the ball rolling by dismissing Kushal Bhurtel and Anil Sah within three third-over deliveries, then had Paudel and Sundeep Jora caught as Nepal fell to 26-5.

    Kushal Malla steadied the ship somewhat, but his match-high 27 runs came off 40 deliveries as Mustafizur Rahman (3-7) and Shakib (2-9) bowled efficiently, the former's ball accounting for his dismissal as he looped a shot to Najmul Hossain Shanto at mid off.

    Nepal went into the final over needing 22 to see a spirited performance rewarded with a victory, but their final two wickets fell from the first two balls as Bangladesh clinched second place in Group D, behind South Africa.

    That result ended the Netherlands' hopes of progression, and their tournament ended with a whimper as they suffered an 81-run defeat to Sri Lanka in Kingstown.

    Sri Lanka set a daunting target of 202 – the joint-highest of the tournament to date, alongside Australia versus England – with Kusal Mendis and Charith Asalanka making 46 runs apiece, the latter hitting five sixes off 21 balls.

    The demoralised Dutch fell well short in their chase and were all out for 118 with three overs remaining, Nuwan Thushara helping himself to a hat-trick for Sri Lanka.

    Data Debrief: Paltry total enough for Bangladesh

    Bangladesh supporters might have been twitchy when they limped to just 106 against a Nepal team who have threatened an upset repeatedly at this tournament, but some composed bowling ensured it was enough.

    Their tally of 106 runs was the lowest to ever be successfully defended at a T20 World Cup.

  • Azam admits future as Pakistan captain is up to the PCB following Ireland win Azam admits future as Pakistan captain is up to the PCB following Ireland win

    Babar Azam has said he will leave the decision of remaining as Pakistan captain to the PCB following their disappointing T20 World Cup campaign. 

    The Shaheens concluded their run in the competition with a three-wicket triumph over Ireland in Florida on Sunday, but failed to progress to the Super 8 stage at the expense of the United States. 

    Shaheen Afridi starred for Pakistan by taking three wickets, with Azam leading from the front with the bat as he hit an unbeaten 32 to help secure the victory. 

    "Yes we finished well, we took early wickets with the ball," Azam said after the game. "With the bat we didn't finish well. Lost back to back wickets, got over the line in the end.

    "I think with the bowling, conditions suit our bowlers, in batting few mistakes in USA, India matches, when you lose wickets pressure is on you.

    "Let's see, what team needs, I'll be okay with it. Have a good bunch of players, we've to go home, chat and see where we lacked, and then come back. Couldn't finish off close games, as a team we weren't good as a team."

    Pakistan's exit from the World Cup was the earliest they had been knocked out of the competition, having lost their opening two games to the USA and India. 

    Azam's future as the captain has been called into question, and could hand the armband over to Afridi, who was named as the new captain following Pakistan's league stage exit of the ODI World Cup in India last year.

    The 29-year-old explained that conversations will be had to discuss his future as Pakistan captain, but admitted the decision is down to the PCB. 

    "When I left captaincy (previously), I felt that I shouldn't be captain any more and announced it myself. When PCB gave it back, that was their decision," Azam said. 

    "Now we'll go back and have a discussion about what all has happened here. If I leave captaincy again then I will inform everyone.

    "For now, I haven't thought about it and the decision is up to PCB."

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