The Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, San Fernando will be ready to host semifinal and final of the 2018 Hero CPL T20 tournament this Friday and Sunday as it received the passing grade from officials yesterday.
Ashton Forde chairman of CEPEP as well as a ground consultant for the venue Manohar Ramsaran inspected the venue and said all is well come Friday. Ramsaran said the venue is in the best possible shape as CEPEP has partnered with Udecott who manages the venue to ensure that it is in great shape for the big event. "We are happy with the progress made at the venue this far. You can see the place looks beautiful and this is as a result of the hard work of the people here, as well as CEPEP thanks to Mr Forde. They are on board with us at this time and have really assisted us in bringing this space up to its continued international standards."
Forde was also pleased with the work and said, "This is an international event and we must do all that we can to showcase ourselves in the best way possible to the world. CEPEP has partnered with Udecott in this and you are seeing the results of this association."
Among some of the work done by CEPEP is sprucing up the stands, as well as clearing all the way around the ground to make accessing it as easy as possible. A new car park has been built along the driveway to the ground and this will supplement the already huge parking area. Also, the Southern entrance to the ground will be opened up two hours before and after the match for Southern fans to enter and leave via the Tarouba flyover.
Manohar added that the venue has not gotten International Cricket Council (ICC) approval as this would take some time. "The application for international approval is before the Cricket West Indies (CWI) and we are hoping that it happens soon. All visits from ICC people here have been successful, they have not said well to change this and change, so I think we just have to let the process unfolds and we will have international matches here."
Haresh Ramnath who is facility manager at BC Lara Academy said that the venue will be able to hold a total of 16,000 fans for each game. "We have used up all the space here wisely and we expected a 16,000 strong crowd on the weekend. We have put fan safety and comfort first and this has been our concern from day one."
Workers were busy at the southern venue yesterday putting the final stages of the preparation in place. Tickets for the two matches have been sold out and fans will be looking for a repeat from the local team last year. TKR won the 2017 CPL title with a thrilling victory.
Semi-final -Winner Playoff 2 v Loser Playoff 1, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad, 8 pm
Final – Winner Playoff 1 v Winner Semi-final, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad, 5 pm