PRESIDENT of the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) Hilbert Foster is urging Cricket West Indies (CWI) to look at the possibility of First Class cricket returning to the Ancient County.
The outspoken BCB president, who is spearheading a major restoration of Berbice’s cricket, noted that it is sad that Berbicians have been denied the opportunity to witness their heroes representing Guyana.
The last First Class match played in Berbice was in 2007 when Guyana played Barbados from January 28 while the last limited over game was in 2009 when Narsingh Deonarine scored a century versus Barbados.
Berbice, Foster lamented, is being treated as a stepchild, and is being punished for reasons only known to the powers of Guyana’s cricket.
Foster noted that Berbice has legendary status in West Indies cricket, having produced 19 Test players and numerous other players for Guyana.
The county continues to produce outstanding players with Veerasammy Permaul, Devendra Bishoo, Shimron Hetmyer, Gudakesh Motie, Gajanand Singh, Romario Shepherd, Clinton Pestano, Keon Joseph, Assad Fudadin and Eon Hooper represented Guyana and West Indies at different levels.
Most of these players have never had an opportunity to play at home in front of their fans, friends and family.
Foster further indicated that the Albion Cricket Club ground is one of the best cricketing facilities in Guyana and has legendary status in the history of West Indies cricket.
The venue hosted the first-ever one-day international match to be played in the Caribbean, on March 16, 1977,
Unlike venues in Demerara, matches involving Guyana attract large crowds and the BCB is well known for its organising skills. To this end, Foster stated that Berbice is ready and prepared to host First Class matches.
He urged officials of CWI to visit the Albion ground to look at what needs to be done in order to bring back First Class matches.
The Albion main pavilion, along with the two dressing rooms, was recently renovated, by the Corentyne Chamber of Commerce. Work was also recently done on the two sight screens and commentary booth.
Foster has committed the BCB to spearhead any restoration work required by CWI so that First Class cricket can return to Albion. Hosting of matches at the Albion ground, he stated, would inspire the next generation of players and keep the spirit of the game alive.
He noted that Berbicians are hungry for First Class cricket and also to witness their heroes in action.
Foster also urged officials of the GCB to host Inter-county matches in Berbice
With the GCB’s excuses being lack of finance, Foster expressed a willingness to raise funds for matches to be played in Berbice.