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ST. LUCIA - Beausejour Stadium
Marlon Samuels playing through the off-side during an
unbeaten 84 in the Caribbean's first day/night match yesterday in St Lucia.
Almost two decades after the game's first ever day/night match was contested, the Caribbean will finally flick the switch tonight.
The ultra-modern Beausejour Stadium, the state-of-the-art facility that was opened in 2002, is the venue for the first day/night match in the region under the auspices of the West Indies Cricket Board.
It brings together the "A" teams of West Indies and England in the first of five limited-overs matches and serves as a dress rehearsal for the first full day/night international in the Caribbean when West Indies oppose Zimbabwe here on May 10.
The first half of today's match will be played in daylight hours between 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and the 240 floodlights on six pylons will be turned on during the
45-minute dinner break in preparation for the second segment of the match between 6:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.
With the recent installation of the lights, St Lucia is positioning itself for new developments in the game, according to World Cup St Lucia chief executive
officer Ernest Hillaire.
"We believe the future of cricket will be night cricket. It is becoming very obvious that the next development of cricket is 20/20 which is usually played on evenings and we are preparing ourselves for that kind of take-off in cricket," Hillaire told NATIONSPORT.
"It is forward planning and preparation that we know that lights will be a fundamental requirement as cricket develops, both regionally and internationally. We are facing ourselves in the forefront of that development."
In light of preparations for Cricket World Cup 2007, any plans for major night cricket here would have to be delayed until next year, with the exception of the international match in two months.
"We're very proud to be the venue hosting the first day/night international in the Caribbean," Hillaire said.
"Once the international series gets out of the way, we will see how best we can use the facility and exploit the fact that we have lights. "
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