Queen’s Park Cricket Club president Deryck Murray welcomed the opening of the Brian Lara Academy and is hoping the new facility in Tarouba will help develop the next generation of T&T and West Indies stars.
Murray, a former West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman, sees the new cricket venue as a “welcome addition” to the sporting landscape and while it could possibly provide an alternate venue for international cricket, Murray believes the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain will continue to be the preferred choice for international matches.
He also felt that with the new facility, T&T could not bid to host more international matches and tournaments.
“We have to be competitive. The Oval has not been competing with facilities in Trinidad and Tobago. It has been competing with other facilities across the Caribbean and so that does not change,” Murray explained.
“What probably changes is that Trinidad and Tobago can now make a case for and seek more games to be played in the country and then there is absolutely no reason why the pie could not be amicably shared,” he added.
About the Academy itself, Murray said: “I do think it will redound to the benefit of Trinidad and Tobago. I am hoping the Brian Lara Academy will address the problems of West Indies cricket in terms of the development of the undoubted talent that we have in the country and try and to get that to fulfil its full potential so that Trinidad and Tobago and the West Indies are once again in its rightful place as a major attraction in world cricket,” Murray added.
“I think obviously the project was one the government embarked on before we hosted the World Cup and the concept then was for an academy where there would be a lot of training going on and rehabilitative worked for injured players and so on and I think it is a welcome addition to the sporting facilities in Trinidad and Tobago,” Murray said of the Brian Lara Academy which will host its first event at the end of the month.
The Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board will play its Twenty20 Festival at the venue from April 29 to May 5. Asked if he felt the new venue would take matches away from the Oval Murray said: “I am hoping that is not the case and that it will be a supplementary venue.
“The Oval has established itself as one of the premier cricket stadia in the world so I would expect that the majority of the major international games will be played at the Oval with its history and its traditions and the fact that it is a proven facility. But there is a place for the Brian Lara Cricket Academy,” he added.