An open letter to President Granger
APNU-AFC Government should name Stadium Stands
Dear Mr President,
Congratulations on the victory of the Coalition.
I humbly suggest that the APNU-AFC Government should honour those who have given outstanding contributions to cricket in Guyana by having their names affixed to the stands at the Providence Stadium.
The Media Center should be named the Reds Perreira Media Centre, while the RED Stand named after Rohan Kanhai & Alvin Kallicharran, the GREEN Stand after the late Roy Fredericks, the ORANGE Stand after Clive Lloyd and GRASS Mound or Party Stand after Shiv Chanderpaul. Colin Croft and Lance Gibbs’ names should be at the two ends to inspire those bowling from those ends of a venue which was built for the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
The Stadium should be officially named the Guyana National Stadium and not the ‘Providence Stadium’ since a decade from now when one looks at the cricket websites Guyana would be mentioned when scoreboards are recorded.
In Jamaica there is the George Headley stand, in Trinidad & Tobago there is the Brian Lara Pavilion, in Barbados there is the 3Ws stand, honoring Clyde Wallcott, Everton Weeks and Sir Frank Worrell, arguable the best West Indies Captain of all time.
Even in small Islands like Antigua, the entire venue is named after its most famous Cricketer; Sir Vivian Richards, while in Dominica International Umpire Billy Doctrove’s name adorns one of the stands there.
Guyana has produced 48 Test cricketers since Maurice Fernandes became the first in the inaugural Test match against England in 1928. Several other persons have made outstanding contributions to the development of Guyana’s cricket over the years and it is time our cricketing stalwarts are honoured by naming the stands at Providence after the most illustrious of the lot.
The last Government showed very little interest in honouring our former Cricketers (or other sports personalities for that matter) in any meaningful way and in the year 2015 the stands at Guyana’s only International Cricket venue are being referred to as ‘Red Stand, Green Stand, Orange Stand and Grass Mound.
When doing commentary in Barbados you would say “in comes ‘whoever’ from the Joel Garner end” or when in Jamaica ‘whoever’ moves in smoothly from the Michael Holding end” but at Providence you are unable to attach any names to the two ends which could of course be used to promote Guyana in a positive light by letting the millions listening know that ‘so and so’ is from this Country.
The stadium was built by the Government of Guyana with financial assistance thought a grant and a loan from the Government of India and the Construction costs are estimated at $25,000,000 US.
Seating 15,000 people, the Providence Stadium is the largest sports arena in Guyana and hosts Test and ODI cricket. It has also hosted other International Sports like football and Rugby sevens.
I suggest that these former West Indies Test players (Roy Fredericks, who was a Sports Minister in the PNC Government is now deceased) be invited to a formal ceremony of the naming of the stands and efforts made to install an electronic scoreboard which could also be used as a replay screen to upgrade the Stadium to a truly World Class venue.
International Radio Cricket Broadcaster & Sports Journalist