WICB to speed up renovation at Sabina Park

Published: Saturday, June 3, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Kingston:With little over nine months to go for the World Cup, the organisers have assured that the renovation work at the Sabina Park -- the venue for six league fixtures including the tournament opener -- would accelerate after the fourth and final Test between India and West Indies.

The construction work at the stadium had been delayed for some time after the builders demanded extra funds and complained of cement shortage.

But the work was back on track after the construction company and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) sorted out the matter in a meeting. The WICB asked the company to complete the work within the allotted funds and warned it of legal action in case it failed to do so.

Following this the renovation picked up pace and now the stadium is just a week behind the original schedule for the completion of the work. It is expected to speed up further after the final Test from June 30 to July 4.

''Teamwork and staying focused on the job at hand has allowed us to make up significant ground in recent weeks and we are very pleased with the facility and the current pace of construction,'' Venue Development Manager of the Jamaica Local Organising Committee (LOC) Chris Smith said in statement here.

Sabina Park is scheduled to hold six league matches and a semifinal during the World Cup and the slow construction work had caused concern for the organisers with the ICC adding to their anxiety by saying that it was preparing a back-up plan for any last minue emergency.

Mr Smith conceded that the going has been tough but hoped for better times ahead as the organisers look to meet the November deadline for the completion of work.

''We have had our challenges but we have remained committed and focused on the deadline. Our contractors are now displaying a high level of commitment and dedication and we are continuing to support each other,'' he said.

''The November 2006 deadline is certainly achievable,'' he added.

Meanwhile, ICC CWC 2007 Venue Development Director Donald Lockerbie has also expressed satisfaction with the work and said the organisers have worked hard to pacify ICC's concerns.

''We are pleased with the Sabina Park project over the last month. Following the ICC Venue Tour on May 1, the project team at Sabina Park has made encouraging progress, to the extent that this stadium is expected to be on track by early summer,'' he said.

''We are watching the progress at all our venues very carefully but this news from Sabina Park is excellent,'' he added.

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