Sports Minister Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly is hinting at a new facility for one of the Cayman Islands focus sports.
Speaking to Cayman 27 at Government’s ‘Celebration of Champions’ Thursday (25 July) about facility upgrades on the horizon, the Minister said West Bay’s Jimmy Powell Oval will see ‘improvements,’ as well as, mentioning a new project between the Cayman Islands Government and Cayman Cricket.
“We are upgrading Jimmy Powell, and we have a really exciting announcement that I am not privy to say yet, but it will knock your socks off,” said Minister O’Connor-Connolly. “It’s world-class cricket. Some of it already started happening, but I need to get the ok from the two other parties to make an announcement.”
In speaking with Cayman Cricket president Hector Robinson echoed the Minister’s sentiments saying any announcement was premature, but reiterated the association’s desire to bring international cricket to the Cayman Islands.
“We have had an interest for a very long time,” said Mr. Robinson. “We have pursued a significant ground for both cricket local and internationally cricket in the Cayman Islands. You can’t plan anything for a facility that hasn’t been started, but we are looking at events for Jimmy Powell.”
Previously, the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) had expressed interest in hosting games in the Cayman Islands. Robinson said the Association’s prospective games are being central around amateur competition.
“It would not be in the magnitude of the West Indies,” said Robinson. “We are looking to host teams like Bermuda, Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Canada, and the United States. Teams within the Americas. That is our immediate aim.”
Cricket’s primary facility – the Smith Road Oval – has long been in limbo sitting on land owned by the Cayman Islands Airport Authority (CIAA). Prior to Robinson’s appointment as Cricket president, the sport’s previous executive committee discussed a partnership with Cayman Rugby on a joint facility to be built on land gifted to the Cayman Rugby and Football Union (CRFU) by Dart Real Estate. Mr. Robinson confirmed this was no longer an option.
“We will not be involved in that venture,” said Robinson.