THE Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) has welcomed the decision by the Government to complete the construction of the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, near San Fernando.
And when it is completed, TTCB Azim Bassarath is optimistic that the pledge to hand over management of the facility to the national cricket organisation is fulfilled.
Bassarath’s positive outlook was fuelled by recent comments on the unfinished stadium by Minister of Housing Roodal Moonilal who on Tuesday said that no work will be done on training and competition stadia until after the 2014-2015 budget is delivered in September.
“We are happy to hear that an estimated $190 million will be needed to complete the Brian Lara Stadium and we are counting on the minister to keep his promise to bring a close to this ongoing saga,” said Bassarath yesterday.
Moonilal was at the time speaking to reporters after the launch of the newly-constructed Debe to Hermitage Road in Hermitage Village, south Trinidad.
“We have not estimated the amount for repairs, We are doing an estimate for rehabilitation work at this time. We are hoping with the next budget to get some funds to meet and treat with that. We have always said that we will finish it, it’s just that resources must be available,” said Moonilal.
“We want to compliment the Government on placing focus on having this important project completed and handed over to the public of Trinidad and Tobago.
This is a move in the right direction,” said Bassarath.
Moonilal stated the intention to complete the cricket academy and have competitive matches taking place at the facility by next year. The stadium, which forms part of a multi-sporting complex consisting of aquatic facilities and an indoor basketball court, was initially estimated to cost some $850 million but it has already exceeded more than a billion dollars.
Yesterday Bassarath said that the cricketing constituency needs to have the Brian Lara Stadium and the T&T Cricket Board will ensure that it is put to the best use by the national cricketers.
He said that the limited facilities at the National Cricket Centre at Balmain cannot realistically cope with the demands of several national teams whose training sessions are scheduled there.
“We have the Under-15, Under-17, Under-19 teams in addition to the women’s Under-19 and senior teams training and practising for regional competitions which will all be played in July-August. This means that during June, the cricket board faces a logistical nightmare to have everything running smoothly,” said Bassarath.