Cricket

Sabina light deal collapse not a failure — Wright

BY SANJAY MYERS Observer staff reporter myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, June 05, 2013    

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JAMAICA Cricket Association (JCA) President Lyndel Wright defended his administration after a deal to install lights at Sabina Park broke down at the last hurdle.

Though without floodlights Jamaica will keep its status as a franchise holder in the inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 (T20) tournament set to start in late July, but Sabina Park will only be able to host daylight matches.

Only three weeks ago, Wright announced that Sabina Park Holdings, the entity which manages the venue and its facilities, hatched a partnership with Consolidated Energy Partners (CEP), the intended financier and contractor for the project.

Back then the president assured that the lights would be implemented in time for Jamaica's staging of CPL matches in August.

The deal has now collapsed on the eve of the widely anticipated tournament, but the JCA president refused to view the setback as a failure.

"It can't be a failure because we (the JCA) have been working hard along with Sabina Park Holdings. What would be a failure is if the CPL wasn't coming to Sabina.

"It's a disappointment (not being able to host night matches) because it would add some value and excitement too, playing under the lights. Still we are looking to get excellent cricket for our people in Jamaica," he told the Jamaica Observer.

Wright, who recently announced he will not seek a second term as JCA boss later this year, is adamant that the bid to lift one of Caribbean cricket's favourite venues from darkness will continue.

"We are still pursuing the aspect of lights though we won't have any for this CPL," he said.

Wright, a former national leg-spinning all-rounder, declined to explain what caused the breakdown in talks with CEP and instead directed the Observer to a "press release" that he said will be issued in the coming days.

However, an unnamed source with close ties to the deal told the Observer that issues with the loan agreement was the root concern of CEP. According to the source, neither the JCA nor Sabina Park Holdings could satisfy the lenders that the loan could be repaid.

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