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CPL finals likely for Lara Academy

The trinidad Guardian / Fans in T&T may be in for a treat, as the finals of this year’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament may be staged at the newly opened Brian Lara Academy in Tarouba.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CPL Damien O’Donohue speaking to Guardian Media yesterday said he is flying into Trinidad to meet with officials here to discuss staging the finals.

“I will be flying in next Tuesday in the company of Pete Russell the COO (Chief Operating Officer) for talks with the government and also Brian Lara with whom we share a very good relationship, as we look to stage the finals in T&T.”

O’Donohue confirmed that the package being offered to T&T to stage the finale is US$800,000.

“We think we have a good product and we think that what is being asked for to stage the finals is reasonable. We have gotten interest from outside the region in terms of hosting the finals but we are always happy to have the tournament finals in the Caribbean where it belongs. We understand the problems that T&T faces with foreign currency and we are willing to work around that in order to have the finals in Trinidad. We always believe that T&T is a great place to keep the CPL finals and we are doing all we can to see this come through.

“We understand the Caribbean economies and T&T might be in the best position to make this investment. We think that we have a great product and we are going to negotiate as best we can to have the finals in Trinidad.

“You have a spanking new cricket stadium in Trinidad and we have the best product which is the CPL and it will be great for this to be played at the Brian Lara Stadium. The finals is more than cricket, it is a big show and which better place to keep it than T&T and at this lovely facility.”

Last Friday, Michael Hall, the cricket operations director of CPL, paid a visit to the facility and was happy with what he saw. He said that he sees no reason why the venue can’t host CPL matches.

O’Donohue said: “We have been having discussions with the minister of Sport (Darryl Smith) and Lara and they have stated that by CPL time the venue will be ready for matches.”

As far as the preliminary matches go, O’Donohue said: “That is a matter for Venky Mysore and the officials to discuss.”

Mysore is the CEO of Red Chillies Entertainment, the owners of the Trinbago Knight Riders. The franchise owners will deal with venues for their home games and the CPL will deal with finding a venue for the finals.

The venue used for CPL matches in T&T is normally the Queen’s Park Oval and O’Donohue said CPL has been treated well by the authorities at the Oval and they share a very good relationship.

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