At first glance, it didn’t look like much. The Jimmy Powell Oval in West Bay, once a beacon for cricket, was in need a face lift.
“He was one of the stalwarts of cricket in the Cayman Islands,” said Cayman Cricket President Hector Robinson. “We want a facility that we can be proud of, and is worthy of the name of someone who has made such powerful contributions to the game.”
That’s why Robinson scheduled a much needed workday Saturday (15 December). Overgrown trees were trimmed. Garbage was removed. The pitch was combed for safety. All in the name of reclaiming a spot on the international stage.
“We have had opportunities to host international competitions in the past, but we’ve turned them down because we don’t have enough facilities,” said Robinson. “Jimmy Powell is capable of being up to international standards. We want to bring it up to those standards.”
Leading the charge in the early morning clean up was captain Ramon Sealy, Youth Development Officer Connor Patterson, Technical Director Peter Anderson, as well as many others. Robinson says it’s a promising sign that people are still invested in the sport during a time of development and transition.
“I think it’s given people an opportunity for people to show their community spirit, and love for the game,” said Robinson. “It is part in parcel of our entire programme. We have been concentrated on our youth development. We will have four full-time coaches. This will form the proper base for future development.”
Many hope that spirit can translate into a rejuvenated interest for cricket in the Cayman Islands.