President of the T&T Cricket Board of Control (TTCB) Azim Bassarath and Jeffrey Guillen, team manager at Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC) are in disagreement over the future development of the National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva.
Speaking to Andre Baptiste on iSport radio programme, Bassarath said his executive submitted a budget totaling $31 million to the ministry of sport for fiscal 2015-2016 for the construction of a mega facility.
He explained that $3 million was being requested for the erection of a sand based outfield and another $2 million for an electronic scoreboard.
The TTCB already purchased and imported bleachers to accommodate 1,000 spectators from its existing budget.
But Guillen, in an immediate response, did not hold back his objection to this move which he believed would be a waste of tax-payers funds.
Bassarath said, “We would like to see a full-fledged facility developed. The Brian Lara Stadium (in Tarouba), we also want to see that complete, hoping that within the next five years it will be completed. I have made several calls for the completion of the Stadium, but not only to complete the Stadium. We would like the Stadium to be handed over to the TTCB to run the facility.”
In Guillen’s view, however, facilities at the National Cricket Centre should be upgraded to a world class development facility.
“So, if that (Brian Lara Stadium) is being finished, why spend money developing Couva? I think I would like to see developed a first class training facility in terms of indoor cricket nets; in terms of outdoor cricket nets; in terms of audio visual (equipment); in terms of gym (equipment); in terms of the science aspect of the game. And, I am pretty sure the Brian Lara Stadium would be finished and we can spend $8 or $9 million on the Couva Centre, and get that into a first class training facility,” he said.
Guillen added, “Take the difference of that money and build an indoor cricket facility in the east, an indoor facility in south to increase the amount of people who can play the game later on in the afternoon and in the evening, with bowling machines and coaches and get more clubs involved with those facilities. And I agree the Lara Stadium should be handed over to the TTCB.”