Friday, 13 February 2009


The debacle at Antigua's new cricket ground means that Test cricket will return to the lovely old Recreation Ground in St John's. I was there a couple of years ago. There was no cricket going on and a member of the groundstaff called Emanuel showed me round. Out on the pitch other groundsmen were pouring what looked like paraffin on anthills. Inside one of the stands there was a meeting of all Antigua's national coaches from various sports. The old honours board listed all the centuries and five-wicket hauls recorded on the ground. St John's is, I believe, the only cricket ground in the world with a "Prison End," after the local penitentiary which is situated just beyond the long-on boundary. It seemed incongruous that the authorities built a completely new ground for the recent World Cup when they had this historic and much-loved venue at their disposal. Now that the pitch at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium has disintegrated after only ten deliveries, the prison inmates could find huge sixes arriving in the exercise yard once again, and the ants will have a bit more than paraffin to disturb them.


Ian Baker said...
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Ian Baker said...

I'm gutted that there is now a match at the ARG as I'd love to have gone there. A lot of history and a real traditional feel - so I'm told.