Not leav­ing North

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - World/region - Justin Marville

by justin­mar­ville@na­tion­news.com

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.

Un­for­tu­nate

“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.

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