Last update: 06-Dec-2013 8:12 am
Friday, December 06, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Cricket board wants Brian Lara Stadium
Former T&T and West Indies batsman Suruj Ragoonath believes the controversial Brian Lara Stadium should be given to the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB). Ragoonath, CEO of the TTCB, made the statement in light of Housing and Urban Development Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal’s proposal to hand over the stadium in Tarouba to the Secondary School Cricket League. He said yesterday: “It was a little bit of a surprise. I thought the minister would have included certain groups in the decision-making.
“I think if the facility has to be handed over it should be to the T&T Cricket Board under which secondary schools cricket falls so they will still have access to it.” For years the TTCB had been hoping that the stadium, which is six years late in completion, will become the new home of cricket. The Government hopes to complete it by 2015. With $1.1 billion already spent and $185 million still needed for completion, Ragoonath said giving the stadium to the SSCL meant its usage would not be fully maximised.
He added: “It is difficult to see how they will be able to fully utilise the facilities as compared to what the TTCB can do. “We would have prefered that something like that be given to the cricket board. “This facility would have been ideal because a lot of work has to be done where development is concerned and facilities for cricket in T&T.” The TTCB operates out of the National Cricket Centre, Balmain, Couva, which Ragoonath said had become inadequate for the development of the sport.
Last year, West Indies batsman Darren Bravo tweeted pictures of damaged fixtures at the facility. Ragoonath said cricket had outgrown the Balmain facilities and called for a meeting between Government and the board to discuss the proper use of the stadium.
SSCL happy for BL Stadium
President of the Secondary Schools Cricket League (SSCL) Sookhoo Sonilal said the Brian Lara Stadium would provide a home for the homeless cricket league. He said: “Secondary school cricket really does not have a home of its own so I don’t see a problem. That will be a plus for us. “We will have a home of our own that we could use because we play a lot of cricket. We have a premiership, championship and we also have zonal cricket.”
The SSCL uses the NCC when it is vacant but with Moonilal’s proposal to grant the SSCL full access to the stadium, Sonilal said it would aid the development of local cricket. “It will be good because we will be playing on a full-size pitch. Normally the only time we get to play on a full-size pitch is when we are at the cricket centre or at Queen’s Park Oval,” he added.
He said the stadium was similar to the Providence Stadium, Guyana, as it had the same layout and would provide office space to efficiently carry out the league’s business, once adequate funding and support were given.
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