A look at the hurricane-damaged stadia in Anguilla, Antigua, Dominica, BVI and St Martin that the World XI v Windies game will help refurbish.
In August-September 2017, Hurricanes Irma and then Maria ravaged large parts of the Caribbean Islands and parts of mainland United States of America. Lasting almost two weeks, the storms caused massive death and damage, including in Anguilla, Antigua, Dominica, British Virgin Islands (BVI) and St Martin, where cricket stadia were destroyed as well.
The stadia in question – Ronald Webster Park in Anguilla, Sir Viv Richards Stadium in Antigua, Windsor Park in Dominica, AO Shirley Recreation Ground in BVI and Carib Lumber Ball Park in St Martin – will now be refurbished with the funds from the Twenty20 International match between ICC World XI and the Windies at Lord’s on 31 May.
Here’s a look at the five cricket centres.
Ronald Webster Park
For the longest time the main venue for Leeward Islands’ home matches in the domestic circuit, Ronald Webster Park is now used primarily for football. The park is of great historical significance, having hosted political meetings as well as serving as the primary meeting place for Anguillans after being inaugurated in 1979 as Burrowes Park, named after a British administrator. It became a cricket venue much later, and has never hosted an international game.
Sir Viv Richards Stadium
A relatively new cricket ground, the stadium named after the most iconic cricketer from Antigua – Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards – was launched in 2007 in North Sound ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 in the Caribbean. The 10,000-capacity floodlit stadium – with ends named after Sir Andy Roberts and Sir Curtly Ambrose – has hosted five Tests, 17 one-day internationals and four T20Is since replacing the old Antigua Recreation Ground as the island’s main cricket centre. Though there were major concerns about the future of the ground as a cricket centre after the 10-ball Test in 2009 which was abandoned due to the poor condition of the outfield, it has since hosted five-day games against New Zealand (2012), England (2015) and India (2016).
AO Shirley Recreation Ground
A first-class cricket venue, the recreation ground is also used for football matches, and is the home venue for the BVI national football team. Named after Alexander Ogilvie Shirley, a cricketer and a civil servant in the islands between the 1960s and 1980s, the ground has hosted cricket matches since the 1980s, though never an international game.
Windsor Park was supposed to host ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 matches, but wasn’t completely ready in time, and became an international cricket venue only in 2009, when the Windies played an ODI there against Bangladesh. A multi-purpose stadium levelled out of a rubbish dump in the capital city of Roseau, the ground actually hosted a football game – a World Cup 2010 qualifier – between Dominica and Barbados in 2008 before an international cricket fixture. Since 2009, though, it has been the main cricket centre in the region, hosting five Tests, four ODIs and two T20Is.
Carib Lumber Ball Park
Also known as the Charles Vlaun Cricket Field, this major venue in Saint Martin (Sint Maarten in Dutch) was inaugurated in 2003 and hosted its first first-class fixture in 2004 when Leeward Islands played Windward Islands in the Carib Beer Cup. No international matches have ever been played at the venue.