Colin Thompson, The Royal Gazette
Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) president Reggie Pearman has given the National Sports Centre (NSC) cricket pitch the thumbs-up and is optimistic the venue could host the Island's final Intercontinental Cup group match against Namibia in September.
As it presently stands, the match has been scheduled for Namibia. But it is now understood recommendations have been made to have the match switched to the NSC, as was the case for last week's Intercontinental Cup match involving Bermuda and Scotland that was originally slated for Toronto.
Apart from offering considerable turn on the first day, the controversial NSC batting strip behaved well enough to earn the praise of BCB chief Pearman, who also happens to be a former groundsman himself.
"It stood up for four days and from what I gathered it played fairly good," he assessed. "I talked to players from both teams and they agreed and hopefully this augurs well for the future when we hope to get Namibia here to play.
"It's now all up to the ICC who will await the report (of Bermuda versus Scotland Intercontinental Cup match). And I think we will get their blessing because we had 849 runs scored on it over the weekend, which was good."
Last week's Intercontinental Cup match was the first to be played at the Prospect facility in four years. The pitch has had its fair share of criticism in the past, with leading ICC pitch expert Andy Atkinson deeming it "not fit to grow carrots".
But having been cleared to resume hosting first class matches by the ICC following subtle upgrades, the NSC's troubles appear to be behind them with Pearman now among those who now hope to see more international fixtures played at the venue in the near future.
The BCB president also praised the efforts of all those who played a part in getting international cricket back at the NSC after a lengthy hiatus.
"I wasn't really surprised to see the pitch hold up because of the expertise of our local people who again proved that we can get things done," he said. "Nobody knows our conditions better than we do, regardless of what the experts say."
Pearman is also hopeful the NSC will receive ICC accreditation to host One-Day Internationals.
"Basically the ICC will have to come here and reassess what needs to be done and then we will go from there because our goal is to retain our ODI status," he said.
"We already have ODI status but don't play any ODIs at home. So hopefully we can retain our ODI status (at next year's ICC Trophy tournament) and then play some ODI matches at home."