Bermuda May 4, 2007

Bermuda's pitches

We've long known of the poor state of Bermuda's pitches , and the situation doesn't appear to be improving

We've long known of the poor state of Bermuda's pitches, and the situation doesn't appear to be improving.

There is light at the end of this soily tunnel, though: Randy Horton, the Bermuda's Sports Minister, is attempting to push through a proposal to allow all groundsmen in the country to import the type of soil "deemed by experts as necessary to prepare a first-class wicket," as reported in today's Royal Gazette:

The problem of perfecting a first-class wicket at the NSC has been with us for more than three years. We’re no closer to finding a solution than we were before qualifying for the World Cup.

Why the debate continues to drag on, and why it’s taking so long to find an answer that will please everyone, nobody seems able to explain. It really shouldn’t be that difficult, or even controversial.

But at this point, the last thing cricket needs is another drawn-out public feud over what’s best, when the future of the sport hinges crucially on our ability to host international matches.

Even if Horton gets his way, he’s suggested this summer might still be too soon to complete a new square and have it ready for incoming tours.

It seems only the national team’s appearance at the recent World Cup, when their lack of international experience was so cruelly exposed to millions of TV viewers around the globe, proved sufficient to ignite some kind of action on an issue that nobody appeared willing to tackle throughout the entire build-up to the tournament.

Since 2003, we’ve known what was required. We’ve had experts from overseas tell us exactly what was wrong with the current pitch and how the problem could be rectified.

The crux of the piece revolves around Bermuda's inability to host an international. And on that basis, it looks like they'll be waiting a little while longer too.

Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo