The Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba will host the playoff and final match of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) come September. The news was announced today by the Minister of Sport & Youth Affairs Darryl Smith, who first mentioned the government interest last month to host the grand finale at the newly opened venue.
At the opening of the now premier 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, the Prime Minister fully endorsed the promotion of the business of sport through tourism that would bring events and visitors to our shores and with them valuable foreign exchange.
Meanwhile, Minister Smith expressed his satisfaction that the Academy has been selected for the fifth season finale of the exciting regional tournament saying, “What better tribute could we ask for the Academy’s namesake and the cricket loving citizens of T&T? 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.”
The last time T&T hosted the showpiece final was in 2015 at the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair at a cost of US$3.5m eqvilant to TT$24.5M to taxpayers.
Minister Smith worked very closely with Sports Ambassador Brian Lara to negotiate the US$1M bid and thanked him for his assistance. Apart from saving our country US$2.5M (TT$17.5M) from the last time it was hosted in T&T two years ago, what is even better is that the US$1M will actually be paid in TT dollars, the equivalent being TT$6.7M which saves on our limited foreign exchange.
The icing on the cake is that 50 percent (TT$3.35M) will be paid in kind including a waiver on the cost of the rental of the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, ground transport from PTSC, Police, Fire, hotel accommodation, etc. The other half will be paid in cash.
The Playoff and Eliminator matches will be played from September 5-7, while the title match will takes place on September 9.