Curators and grounds staff workshop reap benefits ahead of T20 World Cup

By Sports Desk March 28, 2024

The men and women who will be responsible for the preparations of the pitches and fields for the upcoming ICC Men’s Twenty20 (T20) World Cup, are now well equipped with the tool of the trade. Following a two-week series of workshops, the ground staff across the region went through theory and practical sessions geared towards education and re-education on the rudiment of their crucial roles.

Over 100 participants completed the workshop series, which included both indoor educational sessions and outdoor practical events. The events were led by senior officials of Cricket West Indies (CWI).

Winston Reid, the Lead Curator for the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA), lauded the initiative, which he hopes will continue beyond the World Cup.

Reid, who is based at Kensington Oval in Barbados, the venue that will host the June 29 World Cup final, had a hugely successful cricket career when he played over 100 matches at the regional level for Barbados. He joined the staff at the historic venue in 2005, ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2007.

“This was a very good initiative by the ICC [International Cricket Council], CWI [Cricket West Indies] and the BCA [Barbados Cricket Association]. This is something that should be encouraged, and I know the staff here benefited tremendously. It was a wonderful eye-opener, an education in many ways it was enlightening and interactive and the responses I got from the others who participated, said to me it was clear they too benefitted in a meaningful way,” Reid said.

“The reason behind the workshop was to improve in every way we can and to do better at our jobs. We are gearing up towards the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which will be the biggest event we have ever hosted. We will be staging the final here, at this magnificent venue, so we want to make sure everyone is fully equipped.

“Not only for Kensington, but for curatorship at all the other venues around the island and the region. We want to see better pitches and fields and playing conditions for our players to show their skills and also to entertain the fans in the stands. So, this was a very timely workshop series which augurs well for the game in the West Indies going forward," he added.

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 series was 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 to deliver a world-class event in June.

A CWI Curators Manual was also produced in the lead up to the workshop and will be disseminated to the curators.

Six countries in the West Indies will host matches in the ninth edition of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup which will be played from June 1-29. West Indies, which hosted the event in 2010, will hold matches at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua; Kensington Oval, Barbados; Guyana National Stadium, Guyana; Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, Saint Lucia; Arnos Vale, St Vincent and Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago.

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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