Heaven aims to light up Sabina
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) presidential hopeful, William 'Billy' Heaven, says if elected, top among his list of priorities would be the installation of floodlights at Sabina Park.
The CHASE Fund chief executive officer, who will go up against incumbent first vice-president, Milton Henry, for the position made the disclosure recently during the launch of his presidential campaign.
The election will take place at the Jamaica Conference Centre on Thursday.
"Without lights at Sabina Park, the development of cricket in Jamaica will not go very far," said Heaven.
"We will not be preferred, and the other islands and places with lights will get priority over Jamaica.
"We cannot allow for that to happen, in our proudJamaica land, and should I be elected, it (lighting) is something I will ensure come to fruition," Heaven added.
Lighting at Sabina Park is expected to be a main issue among the association's 101 delegates, as they prepare to cast their ballots.
This has rendered it ineligible for a number of regional and international tournaments.
The matter is such that CPL organisers have issued a warning to the JCA that should it fail to implement lighting in time for the tournament's second staging, Jamaica runs the risk of not hosting matches.
Heaven, who is seeking to replace outgoing president, Lyndel 'Muddy' Wright, who has opted not to seek re-election, also mentioned that he and his team have already opened discussions with CPL T20 stakeholders on the matter.
"I was advised by Dr (Akshai) Mansingh, who got a call from a government minister, that they have opened up discussions with the Indian government on the lights, and we are hoping that that will go somewhere," said Heaven.
Mansingh, head of the WICB medical panel, is running on Heaven's ticket as a director candidate.
"We are also about to open up some discussions with some other people who we know are able and are willing to participate in discussions," he added.
Heaven was also asked what would be the difference between his team soliciting artificial lighting support and that of his predecessor's. His response: business-sector confidence and leadership.
"There are some things that sponsors look for. My experience in the private sector tells me that. Sponsors look to people who they have confidence in," he said.
"I believe that once sponsors have confidence in your leadership, once a proposal is properly made and once they realise that it is above board, they will come on stream."