A New York Stadium Would Avert Many Disappointments
By Orin Davidson
From the high of successfully hosting Brian Lara’s West Indies two weeks ago, New York fans here have been brought down to earth by the disappointing developments surrounding the proposed Super Series planned for North America this summer.
In the first instance, the games featuring the West Indies and India teams were set for New York, then shifted to Canada.
Now we are hearing Canada has opted out, leaving the games in jeopardy of ever being staged at all.
From the inception the announcement of the series caught almost everyone by surprise.
It was sprung upon the public suddenly without any long period of notice that is usually the norm with games of such magnitude.
And obviously the series suffered as a result.
The rush to pull it off here left small room for preparation, leaving the fans in New York and Toronto a deprived lot.
It is no secret New York does not have a facility of international standard to host teams with the likes of super stars Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar engaging in serious competition.
Despite the efforts of United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) President Gladstone Dainty to have them staged someplace in America, he could not get past the International Cricket Council (ICC) strict standards code. And rightly so.
Players cannot be brought to perform in conditions that might risk their health as the fields here could cause.
Therefore it was not surprising New York and the rest of America were blanked.
Surely had the stadium in Lauderhill Florida been completed, the games would’ve been definitely on. In that regard it is also disappointing it is yet to be completed considering the time being taken since the sod was turned at the site.
Now the Canada Cricket Association caught everyone on the back foot with its announcement of decline. And it is not for wont of suitable venues. Everyone knows they have high class facilities there that can be used, like the Skydome baseball stadium which staged similar games in the past.
One cannot help being perplexed because Canada’s intention was not revealed at the planning meeting for the series held in Manhattan a month ago. The Canadians were supposed to be represented at that meeting by its President Ben Sennick, and one would’ve though they were fully into the undertaking.
As a result the Indians are thinking of alternative opposition and venues for the series, which would be another spoke in the wheel of West Indies Cricket Board President Ken Gordon’s chequered stint so far.
Nothing much has gone right for the new President, with this latest disappointment coming hot on the heels of the protests by the West Indies Players Association about them and the players being in the dark about the series.
But it is just as heart rending for New York fans because the embarrassment caused by the lack of proper facilities here should never have occurred.
Cricket has been active in this city for much too long for us not to have a stadium in this day and age.
Everyone knows the sport is a small minority but that is not an excuse now.
Cricket is already massive in parts of the world that matter and America does not operate in a vacuum. The authorities are aware of the happenings around and surely the powers that be, would encourage a sport that means so much to countries like India, that is fast becoming a world power.
This current sorry state of cricket affairs in New York must serve as a motivator for the cricket fraternity to push harder for that elusive stadium.
The time has ended for all the half hearted attempts. Concerted efforts must be the order of the day from now on as the benefits of a proper cricket facility will reward us handsomely in more ways than one.
Orin Davidson Column Homepage
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