Nishant Arora | April 3, 2007, 8:23 PM IST
Antigua: The newly built Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua has hosted three games of the Super Eights stage.
The stadium can seat about 18,000 people and despite having all the modern amenities it has the Caribbean flavour and is the most important patch of land on the 108 square mile island of Antigua.
It is a matter of pride for the 80,000 population of the tiny nation of Antigua and even the legend in whose name the Stadium is built is excited.
"Yes it is great feeling and I am rather privileged to be here sitting in the Stadium named after me. I am excited about it," Sir Vivian Richards said.
The construction of the Stadium started in early 2005 and was completed just in time for the Super Eights matches. It cost $75 million and was built with help from China.
Before the start of the World Cup, there was some concern about how the pitch would behave but on the evidence of the matches played here so far, the square has held up pretty well.
"It is a new stadium and you have to wait and see what’s going to happen. It is going to play good or not? Fortunately it has been playing good." chief grounds man Anthony Marrack said.
With the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium up and running, the historic Antigua Recreation Ground (ARG) will be consigned to history.
But even Brian Lara who has twice broken the world record for the highest individual innings at the ARG offered a positive spin on the move to the new stadium.
"It is a very good stadium and it is a beautiful ground and goes with the man - Sir Vivian Richards. It is an awesome effort by the Antiguan people," Lara said.
For the people of Antigua the Stadium is not only a place to watch cricket matches but also a chance to party, listen to some music and enjoy.