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'Poor conditions' force local cricket club to move tourney out of Barrie

'While we are disappointed that we cannot hold the event in Barrie, this change underscores the urgent need for a dedicated cricket facility in our city,' says official
Cricket 9
Area cricket players are shown in this file photo. | Paul Novosad for Village Media

Complaints of “poor conditions” have forced Barrie’s cricket club to move their much-anticipated tournament to Bradford.

The tournament, called Barrie Premier League (BPL) Season 2 and which was set to be a two-day event featuring 16 teams, was originally scheduled for Aug. 17-18 at Maitland Park in the city's east end.

“Due to strong objections from other cricket clubs about the poor condition of the cricket pitch at Maitland Park, we have had to relocate this year's tournament to Joe Magani Park in Bradford,” organizer Nithin Liviero told BarrieToday.

The decision was made to “ensure a safe and enjoyable playing environment for all participants,” he added.

Previous BPL tournaments have been held at Maitland Park, near Grove and Johnson streets.

“We have the only cricket pitch in Barrie, which is shared with a baseball diamond," Liviero said in a recent BarrieToday interview about their need for a proper cricket field.

At the time, Liviero noted there was demand in the community to have a dedicated facility for cricket, as one shared ground is sufficient.

“While we are disappointed that we cannot hold the event in Barrie, this change underscores the urgent need for a dedicated cricket facility in our city," he added.

“We remain committed to advocating for this cause and hope to see progress soon. We are eager to be involved in any capacity that may be helpful during the planning, construction, and maintenance phases," Liviero added. "We are ready and willing to contribute to the realization of this project, ensuring it meets the needs and expectations of the community."

In a related development, city council recently approved a new multi-purpose, youth sports field and parade ground east of Military Heritage Park, along Barrie’s Lakeshore Drive.

This new artificial-turf field has been described as being geared toward soccer, rugby, football and lacrosse. There would also be amenities, such as lighting and benches.

Ward 1 Coun. Clare Riepma, who represents the city's east end, previously told BarrieToday that the waterfront location "was looked at, but the area is not big enough for a cricket field."

Liviero says if Barrie had the appropriate facilities for cricket, the city could have seen more than 200 players, and possibly their families, coming to town over the tournament weekend.

“This influx would have provided a significant opportunity for local businesses to generate revenue, an opportunity now lost to Bradford," he added. 

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Kevin Lamb

About the Author: Kevin Lamb

Kevin Lamb picked up a camera in 2000 and by 2005 was freelancing for the Barrie Examiner newspaper until its closure in 2017. He is an award-winning photojournalist, with his work having been seen in many news outlets across Canada and internationally
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