Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 14th 2017 Contents A29
Sunday, May 14, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Rowley seeks record
breakers at Lara Academy
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley
says he is looking forward to see
records broken at the Brian Lara
Stadium in the future.
He made the comments at the offi-
cial opening of the stadium on Friday
night at Tarouba.
Rowley, who was Housing Minister
when construction of the facility be-
gan, said: “It is a pleasure to be here
at the opening of this stadium as we
honour the royalty of cricket to Trin-
idad and the Caribbean Brian Lara.
“There is a lot that can be said about
this stadium but we look forward with
eager anticipation to the games that
will be played here, the youngsters
who will nurtured and trained here
and who would break records here.
“The exercise didn’t go smoothly,
but thank God this project is finished
and we are about to begin with the
first ball being bowled here.
“This is not another cricket ground;
it is a cricket academy. We have issues
at the top of the game but don’t let
that affect the rest of the game. We
go forward knowing that this thing
called West Indies cricket will go on
forever because it means so much to
people in Trinidad and Tobago and
the West Indies.
The Brian Lara Stadium is one of the
most controversial stadia built in T&T
under the state company UDeCOTT
which was led at the time by its Exec-
utive chairman Calder Hart.
The initial cost estimate when
construction began in 2006 was
$500 million, however, with cost
overruns and increases in the prices
of materials, this amount increased
In 2008 UDeCOTT then placed
the approximate completion date
as July that year. However, with an
additional TT$90 million in fund-
ing pumped into the project with-in
the last year, the cost swelled to an
overall estimated TT$1Bn. The facility
was completed and handed over to the
Government in March this year.
The stadium, with a seating capaci-
ty of 15,000 was initially conceptual-
ised to host warm-up matches during
the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
However, when it became apparent
that the facility would not be com-
pleted in time for the tournament
the warm-up matches were instead
hosted at the Frank Worrell Field at
UWI St Augustine.
Rowley ended by saying: “A man
hit a ball in Antigua and it not only
landed at the Brian Lara Promenade,
but also in Tarouba.”
The man of the moment, Brian
Lara, was happy to have yet another
momentous day in his life.
He said: “I said what I had to say
about this particular stadium. I think
that I had to get that out early. I am
grateful to the almighty for giving me
yet another momentous moment in
Lara was thankful that the weather
which was bleak all day gave way to a
“We have some blessings from
above with good weather, some for
the farmers and some for the crick-
eters,” he said.
“This may have taken 13 years to
complete but it has and is here to stay.
I have this picture in my head with
parents parked outside to collect their
kids from this academy. I can’t wait
to be far off somewhere only to turn
the tv on and hear glowing comments
about this venue.”
Newly appointed chairman of
SporTT, Dinanath Ramnarine in his
first address to local sporting com-
munity said: “It is great to be a part of
the dawn of a new era of cricket in this
country both academic and practical.
It is the beginning of a bright new day
for our cricket not only for our coun-
try but the West Indies.
The academy will serve as a
training facility for cricket players
and will feature four indoor cricket
training pitches with computerised
biometric technology to measure
an athlete’s performance, including
two full-length run-up pitches for
Patrons visiting the stadium will
have an unhindered view from every
area of the facility. It also has areas
specifically designed accommoda-
tion for the print, radio and television
media, respectively. The facility may
also see the construction of a hotel in
Cricket fans show their approval as another run is scored during the game
that featured a Brian Lara XI against a World XI at the offical opening of the
Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba on Friday night.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, centre, and Curtly Ambrose, left, greet the
players together with some future players before the match.
Curtly Ambrose, left, checks the coin for the toss while West Indies batting
legend, Brian Lara, centre, looks on.
Former West Indies captain and batting star Brian Charles Lara poses with fans on Friday night at the offical
opening of the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, Friday night. PHOTOS: NICHOLAS BHAJAN/CA-IMAGES
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