FORMER Trinidad and Tobago Red Force and West Indies batsman Lendl Simmons is pleading for assistance from the relevant authorities to repair the Crown Street Recreational Ground in Tacarigua.
Simmons comes from a cricket family as many of his family members are former West Indies players and some have coached at the highest level.
Lendl is a former T20 World Cup winner with the West Indies team and has won multiple titles with the Red Force.
Former West Indies player and coach Phil Simmons and former West Indies Under-19 player Keagan Simmons are both related to Lendl.
A media release by Lendl said, “The infrastructure at the ground has been severely neglected, which has resulted in the field being unfit for play. The ground has been called home by Cane Farm Sports Club who are participants of the TTCB Premiership II division.”
The club had to play their home matches at another venue because of the poor conditions at Crown Street.
“Sadly, all their home games had to be forfeited during the recently concluded 2023 cricket season. The club has been writing letters, emails, requesting meetings, even going so far as to offer to repair the ground themselves, but to no avail. Their preparations for the 2024 cricket season have been affected as no physical activities are able to be conducted on the field. A combination of poor practice facilities and a lack of working floodlights since 2018 creates a high risk of injury and a haven for crime.”
A disheartened Lendl has expressed his displeasure in the condition of the ground and feels disrespected, as ground maintenance seemed to stop after the pavilion was renamed after him. He is willing to go as far as requesting his name be removed from the pavilion if nothing is done. Lendl’s plans to organise a number of activities on the ground have been halted as all are dependent on the ability to perform physical activities on the field.
The former West Indies player is begging the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation to repair the ground or allow the club to assist in repairs as it also benefits the community. He is also appealing to the representative for Lopinot/Bon Air West and Minister of Public Utilities, the Honourable Marvin Gonzales, to assist in the restoration of the floodlights at the ground.
Simmons is concerned that players from Cane Farm and East Trinidad may continue their cricket careers at other clubs because of the lack of proper facilities needed to enhance their skills and make their dreams a reality.