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First-class move

BARRY ALLEYNE, [email protected]

First-class move

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THESE GUYS DON’T MIND being bridesmaids again.

But it is their wish to be at the front of the church one day.

The Windward Cricket Club will be under the cricket microscope from this morning for the next four days, as they once again save the blushes of Barbadian cricket, by hosting a first-class match due to the unavailability of the historic Kensington Oval.

Vice-president of the club, Charlie Thornton believes the Oval will always be first-choice if available, but wouldn’t mind if Windward gets a first-class game as the first choice anyway.

“We are always ready,” Thornton, who is also chairman of Windward’s grounds committee, told the WEEKEND NATION yesterday, as he was putting the finishing touches on preparation at the Lucas Street, St Philip venue.

Not a match

“We know that when Kensington Oval is available that is where matches will be, and should be played, but we wouldn’t play a match even when the Oval is there to be used, Thornton added.

The vice-president noted that Windward has hosted almost 20 first-class matches now, and they continue to upgrade the facility just in case their name is called again.

Next on the list is a set of bleachers to provide seating for fans, but financial limitations have prevented that so far.

“It’s always a tremendous honour to help when we can,” Thornton added. We feel proud to be asked again. Our facilities, right now, are as good as you can expect from a club hoping to host first clash matches,” he noted.

Thornton said that since the club had started hosting first-class matches, they had improved by acquiring state-of-the-art sight screens, a motor roller, new covers and new perimeter ropes.

He expects this weekend’s pitch to be special one.

“Barbadian players usually like playing at Windward, and I expect thy will again for this match. It will suit them just fine, with lots of pace and bounce,” Thornton added.

Barbados Pride face Jamaica in their second match of the WICB’s new Professional Cricket League four-day competition, starting today at the picturesque St Philip venue.

“It’s actually a brand new wicket, and hasn’t been used yet. It’s fully grassed,” the club deputy noted.

No problem

Thornton added that since the wicket was new, he expects it to hold up easily. It will last the four days without a problem. It could last eight days if we wanted it to,” Thornton concluded.

The vice-president added that officials at the club had made a decision to keep the facility at a particular standard, just in case the Barbados Cricket Association comes a calling.

“We will be ready every time,” he said.

Windward last hosted a first-class match last May, when Bangladesh ‘A’ played a four-day match against the High Performance Centre.