ICC cracks down on Sir Vivian Richards Stadium

Dubai, March 17:

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has informed the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) that no more international cricket can take place at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua until extensive remedial work is carried out and it passes an inspection by the ICC.

In February the ground was the scene of a Test match between the West Indies and England that lasted just 10 balls before being abandoned because of a chewed up outfield that was deemed dangerous to fielders. The ICC also said in a statement that the WICB had been given an official warning for not preparing the ground effectively for what was to have been the second Test match between the two sides.

“Appropriate work must now be carried out and monitored by the WICB before the inspection can take place,” the statement said, adding that at least a year would have to pass before this could be carried out. “The decision is in accordance with the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, which was introduced in 2006 to ensure international cricket was played in conditions of a suitably high standard,” the statement continued.

Detailing the decision, ICC General Manager - Cricket, David Richardson said: “We have come to the decision that the outfield was, in fact, unfit for play and of an unacceptable standard for international cricket. The image of the game and the integrity of our sport cannot afford to have such farcical scenes play out as they did on the first morning of the match. Steps must be taken to ensure that it never happens again.”

Pak to get $2.75m

LAHORE: Pakistan will still pocket $2.75 million from the Champions Trophy despite the event being shifted to South Africa for security reasons. South Africa was approved on Monday as the new host of the biennial tournament in September-October by the board of International Cricket Council (ICC). However the ICC board decided that Pakistan will keep the hosting rights, ensuring a significant windfall for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

“The decision of giving the Champions Trophy to South Africa hasn’t changed the picture,” PCB CEO Salim Altaf said. “If the ICC gives South Africa financial assistance, it would still have no impact on the PCB’s share, which is $2.75 million.” A terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team earlier this month in Lahore further dented Pakistan’s hopes of staging international cricket. The Champions Trophy had already been taken away from Pakistan after several teams had expressed fears about security. Australia will defend the title they won in India in 2006. England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies are the other competing teams. — AFP