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The Arnos Vale Sports Complex on Sunday, April 28, 2024.
The Arnos Vale Sports Complex on Sunday, April 28, 2024.
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St. Vincent and the Grenadines is “on target” to meet the June 1 deadline by which it must hand over to the International Cricket Council (ICC) the local venues for the 2024 Cricket World Cup.

“So we are on target as far as meeting the deadline for the first-of-June start. Although the matches here don’t start until the 13th, we’ve got to hand over the playing field to the ICC Cricket World Cup sometime before that,” Michael “Mike” Findlay, a member of the local organising committee told a press conference in Kingstown on Monday.

“And we think we are well on track to do so. It requires a lot of work, we’ve got a lot of contractors on the ground, and they’re working independently. So we’re not dependent on one single contractor to do it,” Findlay said. 

Findlay noted that SVG is hosting Group D matches, the first of which is on June 13 at 10 a.m., between Bangladesh and The Netherlands 

The first night match in SVG will be on June 14 at 7:30 p.m. between Nepal and South Africa. 

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“South Africa is by far the biggest name we have in our group,” Findlay said, adding that another night match takes place at 7:30 on June 16 between Bangladesh and Nepal.

Then, on June 22, at 8:30 p.m., the first Super 8 match will take place between the winner of Group C and the runner-up in Group B.

“And we’re hoping that although the West Indies are not one of the top teams in the world now, that they will be able to play in St. Vincent where we can get a big draw-in in terms of spectator support,” Findlay said.

He said the second Super Eight match takes place on June 24 between the winner of Group C and the second-placed team in Group D. 

“We are glad that we’re having night matches,” he said, noting that lights are being installed at Arnos Vale Sports Complex for the first time. 

“We were hampered before because the ET Joshua Airport was just next to the playing field and because of height limitations, we could not have lights,” Findlay said. 

“At the moment the lights are here already. The poles are being set in at the moment we had to do the base before the polls arrived,” he said, adding that the light should have arrived on Wednesday.

“We are having an electronic scoreboard,” Findlay said, adding that this is a tournament requirement.

That scoreboard is also a replay screen, Findlay said, adding that the smaller scoreboard between the Mike Findlay stand and the president suite will be electronic also. 

“We still have to provide a manual scoreboard, a smaller one, just in case there any technicalities with the electronic scoreboard,” Findlay said.

He told the media that another feature of the tournament is that all the electricity for the venue will come from generators.

“We’re bringing in sufficient generators to run the entire system at Arnos Vale so that we’re not solely dependent on the power from VINLEC at all,” Findlay said.

“We can’t depend on that because of the level of the tournament,” Findlay further stated, adding that the Cricket World Cup is the third-highest international sports event in the world, after the Olympics and FIFA World Cup. 

“So that it’s cast at a very high level and we have got to rise to that level,” Findlay said.

“It’s costing the government a lot of money. But it’s the price we have to pay to be part of that international event. So that the construction is almost finished, we have had some delays, because of one reason or another.”

Michael Findlay
Michael “Mike” Findlay, of the local organising committee speaking at a press conference in Kingstown on Monday, April 29, 2024.

He said some of the delays related to shipping and getting equipment to SVG.

“Because we had to order a lot of equipment, not only the infrastructure for the field itself but the equipment to maintain the pitches and the outfield.”

Findlay said the local committee had to redo all the pitches, at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex and the two practice venues — Sion Hill and  Arnos Vale 2. 

“So we had to relay all the pitches, which we call the pitch squares. And now there are six pitches in each square, which means that they’re eight pitches in those three areas,” Findlay said.

“So that held us back a bit also because we had started relaying the pitches, and we were told that we’ve got to increase the number from four, as they, were to eight,” Findlay said, adding that the pitches have been relayed. 

“The grass has been planted. The grass is growing very well.”

He said organisers are hoping to test all three pitches, but mainly the match venue at the Arnos Vale Sports Complex. 

“And that will be done when everything is in place, the lights and scoreboards and everything when that is ready, then we’ll do it…. 

“What we’re doing locally, once everything is in place, we will organise a match to test the pitches, to test the outfield and to ensure that the lights and scoreboard are functioning well.”

Findlay said he was not sure at what level that trial game would be.

“It will be to local teams. But whether or not we pitch it to the height that we’ll want to bring in a lot of people to the ground, we don’t know as yet because we’re still in the stages of organising that. 

“We were looking at trying to organise the Windward Islands franchise with another team. But as I said, that’s not finalised yet but we certainly will have something to test the facilities.”

Findlay said the normal entrance to Arnos Vale will no longer be the number one entrance for the event. 

“… we have cut a road just below the last school on the Joshua airport. And that road leads into the playing field. We have cut the fence into the fence at the Arnos Vale Sports complex. That’s where the spectators will come in.

“And the players, the VIPs, the officials, the media will use the main entrance, and they’ll come down and the buses will lead them off and go back and park at the decommissioned airport. There’ll be no parking within Arnos Vale itself. All the parking will be on the runway of the old ET Joshua.”

Findlay said there will be several events on the grassed area of the decommissioned Joshua airport to entertain before and after the matches.

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