Lara Stadium loses WC warm-up venue status

Published: Thursday, September 21, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Port of Spain: In a major jolt to the World Cup preparations in the Caribbean, the Brian Lara stadium has been stripped of its status of pre-tournament warm-up match venue after being several months behind schedule in construction work.

Quoting the local Minister of Sport Roger Boynes and ICC CWC WI 2007 managing director and CEO Chris Dehring, the Trinidad and Tobago Express' reported that the stadium would be replaced by Guaracara Park or the Sir Frank Worrell Ground in St Augustine.

'' UDecott had been working very hard to try to push this project along but it was felt that the facility (Brian Lara) was not within the timelines that the ICC set up specifically for completion,'' the daily quoted Boynes as saying.

''While we have been assured by UDecott that they could present something by December, we feel that the image that we want, the complete stadium that we want because we will be on show and the whole world will be looking at it, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago has formally recommended that the Brian Lara Stadium be taken off the table,'' he added.

Mr Dehring echoed the views expressed by the minister and said the stadium has been taken off the list of venues after a lot of deliberation by ICC inspectors and the local organisers.

''Following a venue tour where all facilities were examined, it was agreed by the ICC and CWC 2007 that the Brian Lara Stadium would not meet the required warm-up venue standard in the time frame allotted,'' he said.

Meanwhile, teams vying for the coveted trophy will meet for two days from today to get a comprehensive view of what to expect when they come to the Caribbean for the tournament.

Representatives of the 16 Participating Nations will attend the pre-tournament team managers meeting in Barbados, hosted by the ICC CWC WI 2007 Inc. Cricket Operations Department.

The two-day event, which is being held to provide critical information to team managers about next year's tournament, will feature presentations by members of the CWC Cricket Operations team, an ICC CWC 2007 release said.

The team officials will be updated on areas of interest to them, including the confirmation of international flights, domestic flight arrangements and team practice schedules.

Delegates will also be taken on a tour of Kensington Oval tomorrow afternoon.

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