Imran McSood Amjad: “Should there be a cricket stadium? Certainly”

POSTED: 11/2/12 2:10 PM

St. Maarten – Amid the growing concerns from a cross section of the community about the plan to erect a cricket stadium on a section of Pond Island, CEO of Nagico Insurances Imran McSood Amjad clarified his position on the matter.
The views were made at a time when a St Maartener, 15 year old Daniel Doram has been selected to play for the Dutch National team, who will be touring Dubai and Mumbai in India from November 23 to December 16.
“I have learned for some time now to concentrate on what I have to do and what the cricket association has to do. I am not at liberty to decide where a stadium should be located. Should there be one on St Maarten? Certainly,” Amjad stated.
What is important to note is that the current location where cricket has been played for a number of years is privately owned and that facility has been maintained by the cricket association. Over the years, there have been talks that a road would have to pass through a section of the field eventually.
Recently, a section of the field was dug up to facilitate the running of a pipe system and while this news paper did not receive any official notification, word was that the road was expected to pass parallel to the pipes.
Through it’s affiliation with the Leeward Islands Cricket Association, L.I.C.A and by extension, the West Indies Cricket Board the local cricket association has been instrumental in getting first class tournaments to be staged here.
In their own way, the St Maarten Cricket Association, now known as Cricket St Maarten Management Team has been able to contribute to sports tourism in a huge way and on an annual babsis.
“We would be quite happy to stay where we are, all the government has to do is to buy that property. All we want is to get some place we can call our own, you cannot penalize Peter for Paul’ you cannot say that other venues are not properly maintained and should be done first before going to cricket.
Venues must be maintained properly, you cannot assume that we will not maintain out facility because we have been doing a very good job without any money from the government over the years and that argument does not hold water to me,” Amjad added.
Amjad realizes that there is a limited availability of flat land on the island and he could not refrain from pointing out that a venue must be found at some point.
Ronald Elferink, a South African who played for the Dutch National Cricket team during his formidable years and who is currently playing an important role in the development of cricket on the island also had something to say on the matter.
“We do have some good players here and some of the people of St Maarten don’t realize that. There are a couple of reasons why I think it should come. First of all it is going to be a great asset for the St Maarten economy.
“When you have big matches here like West Indies against Australia, a lot of people will come here and they will stay at our hotels and spend money. The same thing will happen when we have Leeward Islands here. But it’s not only about the matches, it’s the spin off you will get from those matches.
“We have to also take care of our youths and get them involved instead of being on the streets and doing things they should not be doing. The Cricket St Maarten Management Team is very committed in providing the trainers and we have been getting some very good results lately,” Elferink pointed out.
“If a road is built through the current location before the cricketing body has an alternative venue there will be a significant decline in the development of the game and that in itself will be counterproductive.”

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