Merry Boys president: We're not coping well in TTCB premiership

Merry Boys Cricket Club president Sebastian Edwards. -
Merry Boys Cricket Club president Sebastian Edwards. -

On their return to life in the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) National League Premiership I, Diego Martin-based club Merry Boys are feeling the heat in the 2024 season after suffering three straight losses in the first three rounds.

Merry Boys, though, have arguably been playing at a disadvantage in the ongoing season, as they don't have access to their designated home venue, the Diego Martin Sporting Complex. After contacting the Urban Development Corporation of TT (Udecott) before the season, Merry Boys president Sebastian Edwards said the premiership club was told the complex was unavailable, as it was being reserved for warm-up matches for this year's International Cricket Council (ICC) Twenty/20 Cricket World Cup.

As they rack up unexpected travelcosts, Edwards says he feels aggrieved at Merry Boys' inability to access the venue for games or training sessions, particularly as it was used to host the National Carnival Commission’s stickfighting semifinals on January 31.

Edwards says the playing surface at the venue was used for parking at the stickfighting event, and the placement of the competition stage on the outfield didn't help, either.

The facility was scheduled to host two matches in rounds four and five of the ongoing West Indies regional four-day championship, which span March 13-23. However, on Wednesday, a Cricket West Indies (CWI) release said the matches had been moved to alternative venues after the "unexpected unavailability" of the Bagatelle ground.

Edwards said if the venue is to be used for warm-up matches for the T20 World Cup, it deserves urgent attention.

Because of their inability to access the complex, Edwards said Merry Boys have had to forfeit all their reserve team matches and put their developmental sessions on hold, as they simply cannot find a suitable venue.

Games in Premiership I currently cost Merry Boys $2,000 or $3,000 more than their estimated costs, and Edwards said it has been hard to maintain high standards and proper habits.

The club has found a temporary training base at Bamboo Number II Settlement in Valsayn, where they practise two days a week. They pay to use the venue, and Edwards said the constant travelling has put a toll on both him and his players.

"West Trinidad is not somewhere you would find a proper cricket ground easily to use," Edwards told Newsday. "To say the season is rough is an understatement. We are not coping well at all. We have not won a game for the season.

"A lot of the attraction to players to come to Merry Boys in the Premiership was the ability to play at the Diego Martin Sporting Complex."

Edwards said the venue is a joy for both batsmen and fast bowlers once prepared properly, but his team has not had that opportunity so far this season.

In the 2024 season, Merry Boys have so far tasted heavy innings defeats to both Powergen and table-toppers Bess Motors Marchin Patriots. They also suffered a six-wicket loss to Central Sports.

"Our players have a lot of pride and they don't like the feeling of losing.

"(But) we have four more games remaining, and we will try our best to stay up. We are hoping for the best and we will take it on the chin and go forward."

In round four, what should have been a home contest against Clarke Road United in Diego Martin has instead turned into an away trip to the Penal-based club.

Edwards hopes fortune will finally favour Merry Boys.


"Merry Boys president: We’re not coping well in TTCB premiership"

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