ICL: Indian Cricket League

Sabina Park in Jamaica battling cement shortages


The history of Sabina Park might be littered with instances of great West Indian fast bowlers hammering hapless opposition, but when India play their opening two one-dayers next week, the only hammering might be from the Northern Stand.

In scenes that are likely to be reminiscent of the Boxing Day Test of 2003, when Melbourne geared up for the Commonwealth Games, or even the Feroz Shah Kotla in 2004, when the ground was being renovated, fans at one end will be complemented by rubble at the other.

Only 9500 spectators will be accommodated into the ground as welders and masons continue their operations, with the only exception being the stoppage of cranes. The Jamaican and West Indies board have consented to playing with work in progress, but, in case the Indian players should have any problem, the authorities are ready to halt the proceedings completely.

George Headley, West Indies’ first great batsman, was called ‘Atlas’ for his ability to constantly lift the weak side of the ‘30s and it is fitting that the stand named in his honour will carry the bulk of the burden (7300 seats). Sabina Park’s famous Mound Stand, known for the liberal flow of alcohol and so popular that it is now the Red Stripe Mound, has a new location, accommodating 600 spectators.

Jackie Hendricks, the former West Indies wicket-keeper and current president of the Jamaica Cricket Association, never tires of sending out pleas to the locals, players, media, asking everyone to “bear with us”.

The delay has been attributed to a cement shortage, land-acquisition problems and issues relating to the closure of Melbourne Road to the north of Sabina Park.

Source:The News

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