Government, Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) and National Sports Centre (NSC) trustees breathed a collective sigh of relief yesterday after the International Cricket Council (ICC) gave the Prospect facility the green light to host July's four-day Intercontinental Cup match between Bermuda and Scotland.
"This is a good day for Bermuda and a positive outcome as we work towards our venue securing full ODI status. This is a crucial element of continuing success at the higher levels," an elated BCB president Reginald Pearman said.
Bermuda will now play inaugural Intercontinental Cup winners Scotland July 10 - 13 at the NSC where, for the first time in four years, the Island's senior national team will see action in an ICC sanctioned match.
"We recognise the importance of being able to showcase the Bermuda team to play its fixtures at home and we are all looking forward to this match," added Pearman, himself a former groundsman. "Scotland continues to be one of the top Associate (ICC) teams and we are pleased to be able to host them."
The ICC's recent approval followed a comprehensive process which included an initial visit from ICC High Performance Manager Richard Done, four days of match play each week over a three week period as well as a final inspection by ex-Ontario Cricket Association and active groundsman Austin Ward who was seconded by ICC to view the pitch during play last weekend.
Also playing an instrumental role in getting international cricket back at the NSC was the facility's trustees, groundstaff, local turf wicket consultants and Sports Minister El James who thanked all those who had played their part.
"The groundsmen have done their part. The next step is for the players and coaches to make sure that the team is prepared to take on Scotland and show them how we can perform," the former BCB president said.
National coach Gus Logie was also thankful to those who have now made it possible for his team to showcase their skills in front of the home crowd at the NSC.
"My congratulations to everyone involved in making this a reality," the former West Indies vice-captain and coach said.
"The good work needs to continue on all fronts to make the event (Intercontinental Cup) one of the best ever."
Although the NSC has been granted clearance to host Intercontinental Cup matches it has yet to receive ICC accreditation to stage One -Day Internationals (ODI) which involves a more in-depth and rigorous evaluation of the facility's infrastructure.
Nevertheless, ICC High Performance Manager Done is delighted to see first class cricket return to the NSC.
"This is great news for Bermuda cricket," the Aussie said. "I am delighted for the cricket fans of Bermuda who will finally get the chance to see their team in action."
ee article at www. royalgazette.