Rugby and cricket clubs won’t be sharing grounds

Cayman Cricket currently plays on this field near the airport runway. - Photo: Seaford Russell Jr.

Plans for Cayman Islands Rugby Union and Cayman Cricket clubs to share grounds on which to play their games have been scrapped.

In 2018, the two organisations were optimistic over plans for the partnership, which would have involved sharing 13 acres of land, near Lakeside condos, north of Camana Bay, that was provided by Dart and the Cayman Islands government on a 99-year peppercorn lease.

At the time, Cayman Cricket’s then technical director Peter Anderson said, “Let’s face it, we need another ground to expand. A lot of our kids play rugby and cricket. I think it’d be a fantastic partnership.”

Derek Haines

Former Rugby Union president Derek Haines, who is still a part of the developmental side of the committee, told the Cayman Compass that they are looking to partner with other sporting organisations following the failed negotiations with Cayman Cricket.

“Unfortunately, the sharing of the ground, after looking at it very carefully with the cricket organisation, that because of timing [and] everything else, it wouldn’t work,” said Haines, adding that the Rugby Union was talking to Gaelic football, hockey and flag football clubs about sharing the field, “so that will hopefully enhance our membership and enhance the finance coming in”.

Cayman Cricket vice president Ricardo Roach told the Compass that the potential partnership between the two clubs was over before it really began.

“We closed the book on that a long time ago,” said Roach. “They didn’t know that a cricket pitch needs to run from north to south, which they said cannot work for them based on where they want to place their clubhouse. That’s why we were not able to move forward with them.”

Haines said the Rugby Union is currently dealing with legalities regarding the property and will be meeting later this month to resolve some of the roadblocks that are stopping the project from progressing.

“I’m pleased to say that we’re getting very close to finalising,” said Haines. “If we can get the agreement signed off in the very near future, which I am very hopeful of doing, then there’s no reason whatsoever to stop us from putting in the plans and to go ahead with the development.

“The architects have already started drawing up the plans for the clubhouse, but you know, the first thing is to ensure that we have changing rooms, showers and all that sort of things, and then going upwards for the clubhouse.

He added, “We can do this thing in stages, and that’s the plan, but … because of how long it takes to grow a natural field, it’s going to be a good couple years before we have our first game of rugby down there.”

Roach told the Compass that Cayman Cricket is in ongoing discussions with another party to enhance its cricket field but said he could not comment on the details at this point.

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