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Stanford Cricket Ground is ready!

With one week to go before the second Stanford 20/20 Tournament commences the Stanford Cricket Ground is in perfect shape and is ready to offer an exhilarating cricketing entertainment experience to all.

After its international unveiling in 2006 the Stanford Cricket Ground was hailed as one of the most intimate and exquisite venues anywhere in the world allowing for an atmosphere which best encapsulates West Indies cricket – where carnival meets cricket.

Since then it has undergone modifications, upgrading and refinement in many areas to compete with any international venue on any front.

From the players area to the immaculate outfield to the sturdy pitches offering consistent, even bounce to the awesome practice nets to the lush green grass banks to numerous additional washroom facilities to the Party Plaza – everything has been improved upon to enhance player and fan experience. Walk into the facility and you will notice an additional few things.

The extraordinarily well manicured outfield has been maintained and looks even more plush and greener these days. The practice pitches at the south eastern corner of the field have been removed, leaving the field as one smooth flowing expanse of green, exclusively for playing purposes. An entirely new practice facility, complete with lights and a player's shade pavilion has been built to the south western end of the ground.

The Sir Allen Stanford philosophy will never allow shabby or second class practice pitches so the five netted SCG practice pitches are no less than the highest international standard and can easily vie for the title of ‘best practice pitches in the Caribbean'. Always pushing the envelope and using cutting edge technology, the Stanford design purchased the latest in automated bowling machines and built three modern rolled clay pitches as well as two artificial pitches utilizing the latest synthetic sports surfacing.

Project Executive and Architect for the Stanford Development Company (SDC) Scott Glendinning, said "the original grounds were built for club cricket and only a few hundred spectators. But after the success of the 20/20 competition in 2006 and Sir Allen's decision to make it an annual event, we set about to build permanent facilities focussing on improving the quality of the Stanford 20/20 experience for everyone involved. The players, the fans, the event staff and the television crew will all benefit from the upgrades worth over US$5 million, providing permanent world class facilities for everyone."

During the 2006 tournament after heavy rainfall the outfield dried with lightning speed but there were two areas which caused some concern to Andy Roberts, ground and pitch advisor and Steve Watt, Landscape Architect and Project Executive whose team was tasked with providing that perfect outfield. These two areas have been studied and modified to ensure that every square inch of the plush green outfield is completely drained minutes after the last drop of rain and cricket can resume in quick time.

Batsmen will not be subjected to long tedious walks to the wicket from bird nest dressing rooms either. The Stanford Cricket Ground has separate easy access player's pavilions for each team right on the boundary of the playing field. Each of these pavilions has now been expanded, more than doubling their size and includes locker rooms, showers and other state of the art amenities geared to increasing player comfort.

This allowed the SDC renovation team to demolish old locker rooms under the main grandstand and double the public restroom facilities to aide in reducing queues. Enhanced umpires lounge and generous on-site facilities for the SCG grounds crew are also included in the grandstand renovation.

Spectators on the northern grass banks will no longer have to walk all the way to the grandstand on the opposite side to use the washroom or buy a drink or snack. They will have their own fully retrofitted Party Plaza just a few steps down behind the grass bank. And they will never miss a ball as the entire area offers clear viewing of the entire cricket field.

A special area in the Party Plaza has been designated for two custom built trailers. One of the trailers will have fully air conditioned superb and comfortable washroom facilities while the other is a food and beverage bar. The company which built the custom designed bar has also done work for global brands such as Coca Cola and Anheuser Busch.

"The food and beverage trailer is of the highest standard in the industry and will transform the party plaza into a fun place to lime" assured Glendinning.

"In addition to meeting all the sanitation requirements of top restaurants, it has a complete stainless steel finish throughout, a walk-in cooler, four draught beer taps, two soda fountains, warming ovens and will provide top of the line full food and beverage service to the Stanford 20/20 fans," Glendinning explained.

Permanent buildings of over 4000 square feet have also been erected for the event management offices, Century TV production crew and the ticketing offices. These on-site and fully appointed accommodations will dramatically increase the comfort of the hard working teams who clock up extraordinarily long hours as they ramp up towards the 2008 contest which will be broadcast world wide with over a billion viewers.

One electrifying addition is the installation of a US$50,000 Verdin clock atop the Pavilion. Not only will this clock keep faultless time but the first batsman to hit it will pocket a cool US$100,000. Let's hope it's not a top edge!

The message is clear, the Stanford Cricket Ground is ready for the party to continue. It is ready to offer another breathtaking and captivating Stanford 20/20 Tournament. Come on down or tune in and enjoy the ultimate West Indian cricketing experience.

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