Caribbean League matches stay at Sabina Park

Bridgetown (Barbados), June 12 (IANS/CMC) Matches scheduled for Jamaica’s Sabina Park in the inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will still be played there despite the collapse of a deal to install floodlights at the popular Caribbean venue in time for the tournament, organisers have announced.

Tournament officials say they have tweaked the schedule in order to accommodate the Jamaica matches which will be played over four days in mid-August.

The deal collapsed about three weeks after Jamaica cricket officials announced a partnership to install floodlights at Sabina Park between Sabina Park Holdings, the entity which manages the venue, and Consolidated Energy Partners (CEP), the intended financier and contractor for the project.

“It is unfortunate that Sabina Park was unable to secure its lights in time for the CPL but we have done what we can to ensure that Team Jamaica fans will not miss out on home matches or be excluded from the CPL excitement,” said CPL CEO Damien O’ Donohoe.

“Sabina Park is an important ground in the history of West Indies cricket, and a popular venue for fans, so we felt it was vital to keep the matches at this ground.”

The Jamaica matches will now take place Thursday, Aug 15, at 2 p.m. (Jamaica vs Guyana); Saturday, August 17 featuring a doubleheader at 10 a.m. (St Lucia vs. Trinidad & Tobago) and at 2 p.m. (Jamaica vs Barbados); and Sunday, Aug 18, at 2 p.m. (Jamaica vs Trinidad & Tobago).

CPL officials say they are aware of the challenge of drawing large crowds as a result of the new dates and times.

But event director Rhonda Kelly says there will be added entertainment at Sabina Park.

“Each match will open with live performances by popular local artistes, and there will also be a performance during the match break,” said Kelly.

“Of course, we’ll have a DJ and iron band and all the elements of a cricket match that Sabina is known for. We’ll also have stilt walkers and face painting for fans to show their team pride and lots of giveaways and promotions.”

The first ever Caribbean Premiere League begins on Tuesday, July 30, in Barbados, and concludes with semi-final and final matches played in Trinidad.

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