The Honourable Darryl Smith, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs toured the completed Brian Lara Cricket Academy located in Tarouba during a UDeCOTT All Media Tour held on Wednesday, March 15th, 2017.
The facility, which was brought to completion by the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (UDeCOTT), boasts a 15,000-person seating capacity, lounges, executive boxes, exhibition space and a conference room among several other amenities, inclusive of ample parking with two large car parks situated at the north and south sides of the facility.
At a press conference following the tour, Minister Smith expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley and the Cabinet for the resources to undertake the project and to Line Minister Randall Mitchell. He also thanked his team at the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, SporTT, UDeCOTT the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board and other stakeholders who were instrumental in the project being such a major success. Minister Smith lauded the input of world-class Trinidad and Tobago cricketer Brian Charles Lara, expressing that Mr. Lara was instrumental in decisions made regarding the design of the facility and the appropriate technology required for the Academy to meet the highest international standards. The Academy will target secondary school students from as early as form one, ensuring that athletes are nurtured from a tender age.
Mr. Noel Garcia, Chairman of UDeCOTT expressed his appreciation for the Prime Minister having the courage to make the decision to complete the Cricket Academy and thanked Minister Smith for having the confidence in UDeCOTT to execute the work. He also thanked Mr. Manohar Ramsaran, Executive Member of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board for tirelessly working with the project team to ensure that the grounds were not only ready for use but also of the highest quality.
During the Question and Answer Segment of the press conference, sport commentator Mr. Brij Parasnath praised the work done on the facility. He expressed that the very feel of the stadium is phenomenal, even without a single person in the stands. He also noted that having seen many cricket arenas, the Brian Lara Cricket Academy is the best facility he has ever visited, making specific reference to the remarkable quality of the pitch and overall design of the stadium.
An official opening ceremony to launch the Brian Lara Cricket Academy is scheduled to be held in May 2017.