CASTRIES – The newly opened Brian Lara Cricket Stadium in Trinidad will host the finals of the 2017 Caribbean Premier League in September, organisers confirmed Saturday.
Four games comprising three playoffs and the grand final will be played at the 15 000-seat venue in south Trinidad from September 5 to 9.
The stadium, named after arguably the greatest batsman of the contemporary era, opened last month and the CPL finals mark the first major events to be held there.
“We are absolutely delighted to be bringing the Hero CPL finals to Trinidad & Tobago. There is nowhere that can host the CPL finals quite like Trinidad & Tobago,” said CPL’s chief executive Damien O’Donohoe.
“CPL is without doubt the biggest sports event in the Caribbean and has attracted huge international attention so this is a great opportunity for Trinidad & Tobago to showcase everything that makes this country so special to hundreds of millions of viewers around the world.
“Sports tourism is now creating lots of much needed jobs in the region and so Trinidad and Tobago are set to really benefit from hosting these games.”
The stadium is run by the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago, an arm of the Ministry of Sports there, and was only recently completed following years of delays.
Originally scheduled to host warm-up matches during the 2007 Cricket World Cup, the construction was plagued with controversy and cost over-runs and eventually stalled.
Building resumed last year and the structure was finally completed earlier this year.
Sports Minister Darryl Smith said the venue would do justice to the CPL finals.
“What better tribute could we ask for the Academy’s namesake and the cricket-loving citizens of Trinidad & Tobago?” he said.
“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 stadium hosted a domestic Twenty20 tournament recently to mark its opening.
The CPL, in its fifth year, is set to run from August 4 to September 9. (CMC)