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Ministry of Youth, Families and Sports and the BCB Announces Seminar on Cricket Pitch Preparation and Maintenance


In a press conference today, The Hon. Glenn A. Blakeney, JP MP, Minister of Youth, Families and Sports, announced joint plans with the Bermuda Cricket Board for a Cricket Pitch Preparation and Maintenance Seminar to be held in Bermuda at the National Sports Centre during the week of April 23rd 2012 just ahead of the start of the domestic cricket league season, with the full support of the Ministry of Youth, Families and Sports.


Minister Blakeney stated, ?The Seminar will be delivered by Mr. Tony Hemming, who is the Head Curator of the International Cricket Council?s Global Cricket Academy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  Mr. Hemming has run similar international seminars in the past, usually of 4 to 5 days duration, involving both lectures and practical sessions. As well as being one of the top groundsmen in the world, Mr. Hemming is also an excellent educator, and we are confident that he will bring a wealth of experience to this training initiative, which we expect will prove to be very beneficial to the continued development of cricket in Bermuda.?


 ?The seminar would involve up to 40 persons, including groundskeepers and a few cricket club officials. A primary objective would be to conduct an assessment of the National Sports Centre pitch, where most international cricket matches are played.  Mr. Heming?s visit to Bermuda would also include site visits to selected cricket grounds around the Island to examine the current condition of cricket pitches, with a view towards offering advice on how these pitches may be improved in the future.?


?This initiative arose from direct discussions that the Ministry had with various officials at the ICC Headquarters in Dubai in December 2011 including the ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat.  At that time I expressed to the ICC our interest in improving the quality of its cricket pitches in support of an overall objective to seek One Day International (ODI) status in the future.  In particular, we discussed the possibility of the ICC providing professional support from the ICC Global Cricket Academy to conduct a training seminar on cricket pitch preparation and maintenance in Bermuda. Subsequent discussions between my Permanent Secretary and key ICC officials have led to a firm commitment for Mr. Hemming to come to Bermuda and conduct a pitch preparation and maintenance seminar.?


?I am also pleased to note that the Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) has fully embraced this initiative, which they see as an important development to boost Bermuda?s potential to offer a premier location to host ODI matches for regional as well as international cricket.?


?During the Ministry?s meetings with ICC officials in Dubai, we also discussed the approach of having the ICC conduct a pre-inspection visit in Bermuda to help us review deficiencies and propose cost-effective solutions towards meeting our objective to seek ODI status.  I have invited the BCB to make direct contact with the ICC to arrange for such a pre-inspection visit at the earliest opportunity in 2012. This should set in place a course of action that hopefully will lead to Bermuda being able to host ODI cricket matches in the not too distant future.?


Minister Blakeney concluded,

?It is my firm belief that we can use this initiative to improve the quality of cricket in Bermuda and in so doing take cricket to greater sustainable heights in the future.?


Mr. Neil Speight, Executive Director of the BCB stated,

?I am very excited that the BCB has an opportunity to support this insightful initiative. It is a major strategic outcome for cricket to get accreditation of the National Sports Centre and we expect Mr. Hemming?s visit will be a major catalyst in overcoming this hurdle. The opportunity to train local groundsmen at a home venue will be an important step in improving quality domestic surfaces at the start of the domestic season.?


Clubs and groundsmen are asked to register their interest for the course and for a site visit with the BCB by calling 292 8958.