Lights 'needed' - JCA boss says floodlit venues integral to T20
As the inquest into Jamaica's Caribbean Twenty20 play-off final surrender to Guyana continues, Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) President Lyndel Wright has expressed disappointment in the team's shortcomings.
However, he believes the lack of facilities capable of hosting day-night games in Jamaica may have contributed.
The Jamaicans turned in a comical bowling display in Saturday night's play-off final, failing to defend 183 runs and losing by six wickets in the process, bringing an end to the Caribbean Twenty20 Championship era without a hold on the trophy.
In the four-year life of the tournament, which will abandon the territorial teams and adopt a franchise-based format in its next staging, Jamaica have been to one final and three semi-finals, leaving Wright to ponder what could have been.
Wright told The Gleaner that plans to add floodlights at the Sabina Park venue are at an advanced stage, but could not place any timeline on the implementation or costs associated.
"I think it (lack of lighted venues in Jamaica) has hampered our players over the years," said Wright. "It would certainly have had an impact on how the team performed in those day-night games."
He continued: "(Light installation at Sabina Park) That is still ongoing, and there will be submissions and business plans to the relevant authorities because that is needed and is an integral part of T20 cricket, because most of the Twenty20 games are played under light," said Wright.
Sabina Park, which became a Test ground in 1930, is one of the oldest international cricket venues in the Caribbean and one of the few without lights. It was among those renovated for the 2007 Cricket World Cup at an estimated cost of US$28 million.
Despite the extensive work carried out at the venue leading up to that tournament, including the erection of a new North Stand, lights were never installed to facilitate night games. Like Wright, team captain Tamar Lambert believes they were definitely hampered by the absence of a lighted venue in the island, where they could practise.
"We are one of the leading countries in regional cricket, even though we don't have night facilities, and that does affect us a bit because some of the guys aren't used to it, but the cricket must go on and we look forward to the future," Lambert noted.
The tournament was won by Trinidad and Tobago, who were claiming their third straight lien on the title.