JAMIE Stewart, the commercial director of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), said a major disappointment for organisers has been the absence of floodlights at Sabina Park to host night matches.
The inaugural CPL Twenty20, consisting of six franchise teams across the region, has brought thrilling cricket and party-like entertainment at various venues, but Stewart said lack of lights for the Jamaica Tallawahs home matches was "a splinter in the foot".
"If you ask any of us involved in CPL what's been one of the main disappointments, it is that lights could not get up in the end. It's like a splinter in the foot of CPL... a splinter we had to deal with," he said during a recent Tallawahs' luncheon hosted by Appleton Estate Rum at the Spanish Court Hotel.
The historic venue, nestled in the heart of Kingston, had a decent turnout in a midweek fixture before enjoying close to full capacity crowds for two weekend match dates.
Nonetheless, television potential would have been crippled by the games being started in early afternoon instead of during prime time.
At the launch of this season's tournament in Barbados in February, organisers said one prerequisite for franchise holders would be the ability to host night games.
Jamaica held a franchise based on a commitment that, Sabina Park, one of the Caribbean's premier cricketing venues would be outfitted with lights.
Sabina Park Holdings, the entity which manages the facility, had plans afoot to illuminate the ground by the tournament's start, but a last-minute breakdown in talks with suppliers Consolidated Energy Partners, doused the CPL's flame of hope.
"The whole premise of CPL is based on prime time entertainment. Cricket played at night, fans being able to come after work and fans around the region being able to watch after work on the tv.
"Suddenly we come to Jamaica and we are playing games at 10:00 am. It jars a bit," Stewart said.
"They got so close... so it was disappointing when it didn't happen. The JCA (Jamaica Cricket Association) is probably the most disappointed," he added, while suggesting the nation could lose the franchise if lights are not installed for the second edition of the Twenty20 event.
The Jamaican Government has been lambasted for not putting in lights at Sabina Park, either prior to the region's staging of the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup or since, though the country disbursed over US$100 million for its part in hosting the tournament.
The under-utilised Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium located in Florence Hall, on Jamaica's north coast, and built in time for the opening of the 2007 showpiece, is also without lights.
Stewart, an Australian, chose his words carefully when describing the inability of Jamaica to secure lights at one of its venues.
"It's surprising," said the CPL official.
"This is the biggest country in the (English-speaking) Caribbean, it has an amazing cricket heritage and (yet) some of these minuscule eastern Caribbean countries have lights in their cricket stadiums and Jamaica doesn't?"