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A Glaring Stadium Requirement Re-Visited

By Orin Davidson
Almost every summer these days, the need is reinforced for a cricket specific facility in New York and its environs.

This glaring shortcoming is being painfully exposed at the biggest competition staged by the national ruling body - the United States of America Cricket Association.

Scheduled for New Jersey this year, the National Championship Eastern Conference playoffs are being threatened by the elements in New Jersey.

Rain earlier this week initially flooded the Watsesing Park, the original venue, forcing the beleaguered New Jersey organizers to seek alternative locations at the Warnaico and Wequhiel Parks.

Addition rain yesterday added to the woes when the entire first day schedule, at the replacement venues was cancelled without a ball being bowled.

With the competition originally comprising an inadequate three games each for the four teams, it is now further depleted to a farcical two each.

In total only four matches will determine the Eastern Conference champions and the runners- up, to comprise the East's two representative teams for the National finals.

Unfortunately this situation is highly undesirable for a national competition when the United States is thinking of taking the sport to a higher level to enable the respect we desire from the rest of the world.

And it is not the first occasion a national competition has been reduced to almost nothing. Three years ago, the said finals were similarly affected by rain which resulted in the champions being determined by a farcical net run rate method after a mere one game each for the four teams.

A similar situation could occur in New Jersey if luck goes against the competition.

However, all the frustration and embarrassment over the years could have been avoided if an internationally equipped stadium was in existence.

Technology for drainage systems at modern stadiums these days allows for play in conditions that would've been impossible due to rain only a few years back.

This was evident as recently as in the first Test of the current England/India Test series at Lords' and also at the World Cup’s new facilities established in the West Indies.

Proper stadiums would enable the faster development of cricket here because the world's best players would never think twice to come and perform and create the revenue streams so necessary for development.

Nowhere in the near future would players like Brian Lara and company condescend to play on matting pitches and be accommodated in tents as was the case when a representative West Indies team visited New York last year for two matches.

With proper stadiums come lights that would allow play at anytime of the day or night if for any reason games are found wanting for time.

Lauderhill Town in Florida is scheduled to complete this country's first ever stadium this year.

When it is finally operable it is hoped USACA will schedule all its important competitions there, until New York and the other major cricketing cities acquire the wherewithal to follow suit.

Rotating venues must be thrown out the window, in the meantime.

At this stage we cannot afford such a luxury with only one stadium in all of America.


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