Orville Higgins | Trelawny Stadium provides near perfect stage for Scorpions
Last week, I was among a small group of journalists who made the trip from Kingston to Trelawny to cover the Regional Four Day game between the Jamaica Scorpions and the Leeward Islands Hurricanes.
I had not gone to what was called the ‘Greenfield Stadium’ for about 10 years and I was not sure what to expect. The experience was generally good, although there are areas where I think improvements can be made. I was first struck by the fact that at least two housing facilities had now been built close to the stadium.
It gave the stadium a more human feel.
The Trelawny complex had felt like an oasis in the middle of a desert the last time I was there. Football club Mount Pleasant were dubbed ‘stush in the bush’ when they were first conceptualised, a title that I thought would have been more appropriate for the Trelawny Stadium then. Last week, the two housing schemes made the place feel less primitive.
The outfield was not the smoothest, not the pristine billiard surface lookalike, that you sometimes get at Sabina Park, for instance. The pitch, however, was good. I was fearing that it may have crumbled, but it held up pretty well and remained a decent batting surface right to the very end.
The view from the commentary box was spectacular. From there, we could see all the way out to the beautiful cruise ships in the waters at Montego Bay. It was in very sharp contrast to the wild vegetation that surrounded us. The bathrooms were in good condition. The music was nice and not overbearing during the breaks. The parking area was huge and easily accessible. There was not enough food for the few spectators that were there though, and that is one area that must improve for next weekend’s game against the Guyana Jaguars.
As for the cricket, it is the most exciting finish I have ever seen in a Four Day regional game. The Scorpions needed 138 in about an hour and a half of play on the last day to win. The openers, John Campbell and Assad Fudadin, went early, but Jermaine Blackwood and Nkrumah Bonner steadied the ship with a mature partnership.
Blackwood has metamorphisised from the shot-a-ball dasher he was to now being a brisk run accumulator. If he can convert those half centuries into centuries (he now has four 50s this season), his West Indies recall may not be far away.
Bonner was all class. He controlled the tempo of the run chase to perfection, and his Carlos Brathwaite – like assault, where he hit three straight sixes off the first three balls in what turned out to be the last over, in rapidly fading light, was the perfect coup de grace, (if you are a Scorpions fan, that is.)
Bonner has appeared to now be combining technical efficiency with a real desire to do well. So it’s all systems go for what should be a grudge match against the Guyana Jaguars at the same venue, starting next Thursday. I hope a few more spectators turn up. I can hardly wait.