Not leaving North
Barbados Cricket Association president Conde Riley isn’t prepared to surrender North Stars ground to violence after the most recent shooting incident in Crab Hill brought an early end to Sunday’s match.
“Let me first say that I am very well aware of what happened over the weekend and I will no way ever put the lives of our cricketers in any jeopardy but I am also not fearful that we will lose the use of North Stars because I am certain the Royal Barbados Police Force is actively ensuring the safety of the people in the north,” said Riley.
“Obviously, our first concern is the safety of our players and I have to say the management of North Stars cannot be held responsible for the shooting incident but I believe our director of cricket [Steven Leslie] is currently in talks with the Royal Barbados Police Force to look at our fixtures as it relates to North Stars.
“This is one of my favourite grounds in the entire country and we all know this was a first class ground in the past so it would be unfortunate to lose it to violence.
“It’s rather unfortunate that this incident happened where it did because it could happen anywhere in St Lucy but we will talk to the police first and let them advise us as how to proceed,” he added.
Riley made the comments days after an Intermediate fixture between North Stars and Empire came to an abrupt end around 4:45 when gunshots rang out in Harrisons, St Lucy.
Some officials were heard saying they would never return to that area again after players lay flat on the field, while Judith Griffith and an unidentified man received gunshot wounds.
According to people in the community, five masked gunmen fired a series of rounds in an assumed act of retaliation for the recent death of Crab Hill resident Dexter “Hyper Hype” Lashley. Some people vowed to move out to sleep at relatives.
But acting public relations officer of the RBPF, Sergeant Michael Blackman, has given the assurance that life can resume as normal in Crab Hill and the surrounding areas due to the increased police presence.
“I believe that the BCA can feel free to go ahead and fixture their games at North Stars as normal.
“The Police are currently carrying out investigations to the incident that occurred last Sunday,” Blackman said.
“We currently have increased patrols in the area, so the public can feel free to go about their business as usual and we believe our increased presence alone will result in the safety of the public.
“We will do what is necessary to safeguard everyone up north, the residents and cricketers included, and I would not call for cricket to continue at North Stars if I honestly didn’t think it was okay to play there,” he added.
President of the Barbados Cricket Association Conde Riley.