Sabina Park is the only CPL ground without floodlights
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) have announced that they are working on installing floodlights at Sabina Park in preparation for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), which is scheduled to get underway on July 29.
Jamaica was one of the six franchises named to be in the tournament, along with Antigua, Barbados, Guyana, St Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Of all the six countries, Sabina Park in Jamaica is the only ground without floodlights, which the WICB list as a necessity for the CPL.
“At this moment the JCA have been in discussion with the ministries of tourism and sports, and a number of agencies that support those ministries,” WICB vice-president Whycliffe Cameron told the Jamaica Observer. “It [getting the lights in time for the CPL] can be done and in another week or two there should be an announcement.”
Cameron stated that the floodlights would take around 22 weeks to install and should be ready in time for the inaugural edition of the tournament.
“One of the quotes suggested 22 weeks from confirmation to installation of lights,” Cameron said. “There is also a temporary solution: you could ship in the lights and have them on trucks and when the tournament is over the lights can be put up permanently.”
However, with the project estimated to cost around US$1.7 million, Cameron noted that Sabina Park may have to start being used for other activities besides cricket.
He also revealed that the JCA were working out a solution with the government and private sectors.
“I think the JCA are very close to tying down the funding,” he said. “It will not be totally supported by the government, they are also getting private sector involved. It’s a very sustainable business plan put forward, so we are hoping that the government may fund it but repayments [for the government loan] would come from the private sector, and from funds generated from the Park itself.
“Sabina Park will be transformed from a cricket stadium to a multi-purpose facility. That’s the only way things will work. It can’t be that it is used only a few times per year [for cricket].”