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ICC green signal to banned stadium

Sir Vivian Richards Stadium at Antigua has been re-approved for international cricket following a 12-month suspension.

cricket Updated: Apr 30, 2010 00:27 IST

Sir Vivian Richards Stadium at Antigua has been re-approved for international cricket following a 12-month suspension.

In February last year, a West Indies vs. England Test match was abandoned after just 10 balls because the outfield at the Antigua venue was considered unfit for play.

The International Cricket Council said the ground has passed an inspection by match referee Geoff Crowe.

"We are content that the ground is now of sufficient standard to host international cricket. The remedial work has been carried out and Mr. Crowe has carried out a full inspection, during which he found the ground to be of a good standard," ICC spokesman David Richardson said in a statement Wednesday.

The venue was opened to replace Antigua Recreation Ground as the country's premier stadium in February 2007, a month ahead of the trouble-plagued World Cup in the Caribbean, and had an initial capacity of 20,000. The Capacity was reduced to 10,000 following the World Cup.

It has only hosted two Test matches. The playing surface was relaid after its first Test between the West Indies and Australia in 2008 and suspended in the wake of the abandoned West Indies-England Test last year.

The ground was named in honor of the former West Indies skipper, one of cricket's most entertaining and aggressive batsmen. Richards averaged more than 50 per innings in 121 Test matches and was one of the pioneers of aggressive batting in limited-overs cricket, averaging 47 in 187 ODIs before he announced his retirement in 1991.

Bravo eager to play key role

Port of Spain: West Indies vice-captain Dwayne Bravo is eager to play a key role in the World Twenty20, which begins in Guyana Friday.

The all-rounder recently returned from representing Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and he wants to give his all when West Indies play Ireland in the second match of a doubleheader at the Guyana National Stadium at Providence Friday.

"You can expect energy from me always. Whenever I step on the cricket field, it is guaranteed that I will give the team 100 percent," Bravo was quoted as saying in the Trinidad Express.

"It is part of my job as vice-captain to also be that livewire in the team and also to support Chris (Gayle) who has been doing a good job as the team leader.

"We also have some other very good all-rounders in the team like Darren Sammy and (Kieron) Pollard, who also bring energy and enthusiasm and this helps to keep the players together and pull the team along."

Last year, West Indies defied the odds to reach the semifinals of the tournament in England before crashing out to Sri Lanka. Bravo said his side’s chances of repeating that success were as good.

First Published: Apr 30, 2010 00:26 IST