Akeal Hosein fielding on the boundary during his debut for Leeward Islands Hurricanes at the Coolidge Cricket Ground. WICB Media Photo/Philip Spooner
ST JOHN’S, Antigua -- Regional cricket made a successful return to the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua, when the venue hosted its first West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Super50 match on Wednesday afternoon.
The newly-renovated facility staged the Zone A first round fixture between home side Leeward Islands Hurricanes and English County side Kent Spitfires.
The ground last hosted regional cricket just under a decade ago. It will be home for all the day/night matches in Group A of this tournament as well as the semi-finals on February 15 and 16 and final on Saturday, February 18. It will be the prime ground from which televised matches will be shown on ESPN.
Speaking during Wednesday’s match, WICB president Dave Cameron said it was pleasing to see the ground in top-class condition for the region’s premier 50-over competition.
“This is a wonderful facility here in Antigua, and we at the WICB are happy to partner with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to get things up and running,” Cameron said.
“We are witnessing a good match between the teams and I’m sure they appreciate the excellent facility we have here. The entertainment off the field has added to a very good atmosphere, typical of the merriment and enjoyment which in part of West Indies cricket.”
Michael Muirhead, the outgoing CEO of the WICB, has pioneered the project to have the ground refurbished in time for this tournament.
“A lot of hard work and dedicated service has gone into getting this facility ready to host matches and today we are pleased to see that everyone is enjoying the atmosphere and the cricket on the field,” Muirhead said.
“This ground has enormous potential. It is one of those intimate venues where the family can come and relax and enjoy the game. There is still work to be done, but we are pleased with the way things have gone so far and we know the players and spectators will enjoy their time at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.”