Holding, Rowe and Walsh honoured at Sabina Park
The Jamaica Cricket Association will host a naming ceremony, tomorrow, Monday, during the lunch break on the first day of the First Digicel Test. The two ends of Sabina Parkand the Players Pavilion will be named after three of Jamaica’s premier cricketers – Courtney Walsh, Michael Holding and Lawrence Rowe.
Media will be given access to the field of play for the period of the naming ceremony and Walsh and Rowe will be available for interviews thereafter……..
Imran Khan (on behalf of the JCA)
Corporate Communications Officer
West Indies Cricket Board
Sabina Park is the home of the Kingston Cricket Club, and is the only Test cricket ground in Kingston, Jamaica and is often referred to as “The Holiday Home of Cricket”. Sabina Park became a Test cricket ground in 1930 when it hosted the visiting MCC team for the second Test in the West Indies‘ first home series. This picturesque ground is perhaps one of the most significant in Test cricket history recording the first triple century in the game with England‘s Andy Sandham‘s 325 versus the West Indies in the 1930 game. The 365 not out by Sir Garfield Sobers which stood as a Test record for over 36 years is more regaled, as was Lawrence Rowe‘s world record on debut 214 and 100 not out against the visiting New Zealanders in 1972.
The George Headley stand which dominates the south end is currently the only stand in the ground named after anyone, and has a capacity of just over 6,000. The Eastern Stands has given way to a “Party Stand” replacing the popular “Mound” stand. The general capacity of Jamaicans for excess is aptly demonstrated in the construction of the huge five-level concrete stand which hosts the outside broadcast facilities, players facilities as well as a fleet of upscale private boxes. The members pavilion lies square of the wicket on the west side.
The Blue Mountains form a backdrop to the north, facing the George Headley Stand, with Kingston Harbour to the south. This view is currently blocked by the Northern Stand, built as part of the ground’s redevelopment for the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Jamaican artist Richard H.Blackford produced two striking paintings of the romantic ground showing the northern section with the famous Red Stripe Mound before its redevelopment, and the second painting showing this area after its redevelopment. Both can be seen on his website at http://www.richardhblackford.com. 
In terms of size,Sabina Park is still relatively small. It can fit a 400 metre running track comfortably on its perimeter, but little else, and with its refurbishing, the capacity has increased to 16,000.
Sabina Park was the venue for the abandoned test in 1998 involving the touring England team. The test was abandoned after less than an hour’s play due to the pitch being deemed unfit for play. Prior to Independence Park opening in 1962, it would also host the Jamaica national football team.