CPL 2014: Cricket light shines on India-Jamaica friendship

jamaicaIndia and Jamaica may be thousands of miles apart, but the love of cricket has spawned a sense of deep affinity and intimacy. The shared passion has now prompted India to ensure that the historical Jamaican stadium, Sabina Park, will be well lit up before the Caribbean Premier League kicks off on July 11.

A $2.1 million grant approved by the Indian government to install floodlights in the stadium will prepare Sabina Park for holding night events in the upcoming tournament. The grant was finalised after a pact was signed between India’s High Commissioner to Jamaica Pratap Singh and Jamaican Prime Minster Portia Simpson Miller at Sabina Park on April 1, 2014. While the first instalment of $770,000  was released by the Indian High Commission at the event immediately, the balance will be released at a later date.

The iconic Sabina Park is revered by  Jamaicans as it hosted the first ever cricket match played in the Caribbean country in 1895. Lavishing praise on Jamaica’s expertise in cricket, the Indian High Commissioner had termed the move “a reflection of the mutual trust and understanding between the two countries” at the launch of the project in April.

The installation of flood lights in Sabina Park will also allow Jamaica to host major sporting events in future which will give a much required boost to its sagging economy. The stadium was the only home ground of a franchise holder in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) not to have lights, a primary requirement of all the stadium agreements. It was exempted from this requirement in 2013 but was supposed to have flood lights in place well before the beginning of the 2014 CPL.

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