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Local pair to attend curator course

Calvin “Squaller” Richardson, last season's Bermuda Cricket Board Groundsmen of the Year, and Allan Douglas Sr have been selected to attend a West Indies curator course in Antigua next week.

The course, taking place from December 18 to 20, will be run by Andy Atkinson, the International Cricket Council pitch consultant.

The workshop will include pitch preparation, renovation and discussions on grass coverage of pitches.

The BCB managed to secure two of the four available places that were provided to Associate members of the ICC Americas, enabling Richardson, the groundsman at Lord's, and Douglas to attend.

Richardson, who has been preparing the wickets at St David's for the past two years after learning his trade under Mansfield “Bojangles” Smith at St George's, is looking forward to learning new techniques.

“I”m excited, hopefully I can bring some of their tactics back and pass that knowledge on to the other groundsmen,” he said.

“I found out about this opportunity about ten days ago. I'm looking to go and learn as much as I can and pass it on.”

Richardson admits the work of a groundsman is a thankless job, as many do not appreciate the effort that goes into it.

“It's a lot of hard work and you would know that even before you get into it,” Richardson said.

“I watched for years in St George's from Mansfield Smith, working in the heat and with little help. I learnt a lot from “Bojangles” as a young boy in St George's.

“In his retirement letter to the club, he had my name down to take over the wicket. I said. ‘No way!'

“I've probably been doing wickets five or six years. It's a real learning process. Water, sun and weight as in the roller. The right amount of water at the right time and then roll it.

“It should be an interesting course, hopefully I can take some of their methods and bring them into our programme.”

Lloyd Smith, the newly elected BCBC president, said: “I am very pleased that out of 15 countries competing for places the BCB has been awarded two of the four places available.

“The quality of our pitches is a major factor in improving our standard of cricket, by allowing the players to express themselves and play to their best. Therefore, the art of curatorship is a critical skill that all clubs with grounds need to have. Not only to turn the fields over from football to cricket, but to create a surface to play on that is enjoyable for all players to improve their craft and develop cricket in Bermuda.

“I am looking forward to having “Squaller” and Allan bring back to Bermuda their new knowledge to share with other curators, and would-be curators. I fully expect that this initiative will assist the clubs/curators in having a large resource of knowledge inside their fraternity, for improving their surfaces for the 2018 season.”

St George's grounds keeper Cal Richardson has an eager student in his son Zahn as he prepares the St George's wicket for the 2013 Cup Match. Richardson is off to Antigua this weekend to learn more about the art of preparing cricket wickets in a course hosted by the West Indies Cricket Board. (File photograph)

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Published December 15, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated December 14, 2017 at 11:44 pm)

Local pair to attend curator course

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