Barath’s soggy ton was in vain

Adrian Barath hit his first one-day international century for West Indies as their series opener against Sri Lanka was called off because of rain.

The original three-match series between the pair in Sri Lanka which was due to start in December had been postponed because of persistent monsoon rains. As well as Barath’s 113, a 100-ball 75 from Ramnaresh Sarwan helped the visitors post a total of 245-5.

Lasith Malinga did most of the damage with the ball taking three wickets. Malinga finished with 3-51 to restrict the visitors and shortly after the West Indies had finished their innings, the heavens opened at the Sinhalese Sports Club leading to yet another cancellation before Sri Lanka could begin their run chase.

Much of the drawn three-match Test series between the pair was lost because of rain.

Meanwhile, the West Indies Cricket Board has moved to strengthen the roots of the game in the region with a historic US$360,000 grant programme which is aimed at supporting club cricket across the Caribbean.

The Grassroots Cricket Support Facility will make available US$90,000 to clubs in four periods between March 2011 and December 2012. Clubs and local cricket organisations can apply to the board for a grant of up to US$5,000 each.

The grants will be issued to clubs to aid in one of three areas, namely: infrastructure development, strengthening training programmes and procurement of gear and equipment.

“This is one of the most important initiatives the WICB will undertake to help strengthen cricket at the grassroots level,” said WICB chief executive Ernest Hilaire. “We are focussing on the clubs throughout the region who have expressed how difficult it is to organize and sustain cricket and we are lending a hand in a tangible way. West Indies cricket needs club cricket to be strong and we need to assist and give meaningful support.”

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