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February 16, 2013
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) are working on setting up floodlights in Kingston's Sabina Park, in preparation for the inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL) that begins on July 29.
Jamaica was among the six Caribbean countries named at the league's launch earlier this week, which are in line to house a franchise and host matches in the tournament. Of the six proposed hosts, Sabina Park is the only ground without floodlights, reportedly a criterion for holding CPL games.
"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."
It would take around 22 weeks to install the lights, Cameron said, and if there was any delay in the procedure, a stopgap solution could be employed to have the ground ready for the CPL. "One of the quotes suggested 22 weeks from confirmation to installation of lights. 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, Cameron reportedly said it might require Sabina Park to be used for activities other than cricket, if the project's financial requirements are to be met. He estimated the project would cost US$1.7m, and said the Jamaica board would look to get assistance from both the government and private sector in funding it.
"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]."
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