The Brian Lara Cricket Academy will host the playoff and final match of this year's Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
Sports Minister Darryl Smith, who earlier in May had hinted at the possibility, made the announcement on Friday.
At the opening of the Tarouba venue, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, indicated that the facility was part of the country's renewed drive at sport tourism. Describing the academy as a showpiece for cricket, Rowley fully endorsed the promotion of the business of sport through tourism that would bring events and visitors to Trinidad and Tobago's (T&T) shores and with them valuable foreign exchange.
Cricket lovers at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba, on the opening night on May 12, 2017. -Photo: DEXTER PHILIP
Smith expressed his satisfaction that the academy been selected for the fifth (5th) season's finale of the exciting regional tournament saying, "What better tribute could we ask for the academy's namesake and the cricket loving citizens of Trinidad & Tobago. The CPL has become a true spectacle for the game and is enjoyed by cricket lovers across the Caribbean and the world. When the CPL officials visited last month and discussions began, I was quietly confident. We will ensure that it will be one of the best finals in the tournament's history."
An aerial view of the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba, on the opening night on May 12, 2017. -Photo: DEXTER PHILIP
The last time T&T hosted the finals was in 2015 at the Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain, at a cost of US$3.5 million, equivalent to TT$24.5m.
Smith worked very closely with Sports Ambassador Brian Lara to negotiate the US$1m bid for this year's finale and thanked him for his assistance. Apart from saving our country US$2.5m (TT$17.5m) from 2015's cost, what is even better is that the US$1m will actually be paid in TT dollars, which assist the country in holding on to some of its limited foreign exchange. The icing on the cake is that 50 per cent will be paid in kind, including a waiver on the cost of the rental of the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, ground transport from PTSC, hotel accommodation and the securing of essential services such as police and fire officials. The other half will be paid in cash.
Sir Curtly Ambrose leads his International XI team to the pitch on the opening night of the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba, on May 12, 2017.-Photo: DEXTER PHILIP
The playoff and eliminator matches will be played from 5-7 September while the Final takes place on September 9.