Fri | Jun 18, 2021

JCA eager to welcome WI, Pakistan to Sabina Park

Published:Saturday | May 15, 2021 | 12:10 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
A view of the George Headley Stand at Sabina Park with the Kingston Harbour in the background.
A view of the George Headley Stand at Sabina Park with the Kingston Harbour in the background.
Francis
Francis
1
2

It has been well over a year since stumps have been put up on any cricket field in Jamaica, however, that long wait for some on-field action will soon be over, as Jamaica is set to host two international Test matches between the West Indies and...

It has been well over a year since stumps have been put up on any cricket field in Jamaica, however, that long wait for some on-field action will soon be over, as Jamaica is set to host two international Test matches between the West Indies and Pakistan this August.

As part of a packed international summer schedule, the West Indies are down to play four Test matches, three One Day Internationals and 15 T20 Internationals from June 10 to August 24, across venues in St Lucia, Grenada, Barbados, Guyana and Jamaica.

Sabina Park will get its first taste of action when Pakistan travel to Jamaica after the T20 series to play back-to-back Test matches from August 12 to 24.

CEO of Jamaica Cricket Association Courtney Francis says the entity is happy for the restart of cricket on the island; however, he was keen to point out that a lot of work will have to go into making the series a reality, due to the ongoing global pandemic.

“It is good for us that we will be getting some international matches, but this will be something that is new as well. It will be the first time since I have been working at the JCA for over a decade, that we are going to have two Test matches back-to-back,” said Francis.

GROUNDWORK

Francis said the association had already gotten a head-start with regards to planning and logistics for the Pakistan series, as they would have gotten the approval and put in some groundwork to host South Africa, who were scheduled to come to Jamaica next month, but opted not to travel to the island due to concerns regarding the coronavirus at the time.

South Africa will now play their two Test matches in St Lucia, with the five T20 matches scheduled for Grenada.

In the meantime, Francis outlined that a lot of changes will take place for the Test series against Pakistan, starting with the new normal of playing within a bubble, which has become the norm in international cricket.

“We are going to have cricket in a bubble for the first time and so the ball has started to roll. One of the good things is that we have gotten some literature from persons who would have done cricket in a bubble before, such as the England and New Zealand tour by the West Indies, the Sri Lanka home series and the Caribbean Premier League. So, we are getting as familiar as we can and will be working closely with the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Ministry of Sport in following all the protocols,” added Francis.

The CEO outlined that the pandemic, whilst affecting the revenue side tremendously, brought about some efficiency with regards to the association and their overall objectives.

“We have gotten a chance to plan better. We also ran some courses to upskill a lot of the off-field technical people, such as coaches and umpires. Also, the break allowed for our pitches to recuperate having previously been used right throughout the year and had gotten flat, so we have gotten some time to fix our pitches as well,” added Francis.

sports@gleanerjm.com