THE Prime Minister wants the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba to be used more for what it was primarily built for – an academy for youngsters to develop their cricketing skills.
The facility has been used for youth cricket teams to train, but it is mainly used for cricket tournaments. It has also become a popular venue for Carnival fetes and parties during the year as party promoters often use the car park for their events.
Named after legendary batsman Brian Lara, the stadium opened in 2017, ten years after it was initially supposed to be completed.
Dr Rowley led a three-day Cabinet retreat at Crews Inn, Chaguaramas which ended on Wednesday.
In a post-Cabinet briefing on Thursday, Rowley said, "Inside of the retreat we did not discuss cricket...(but) one of the things we have to look at especially is the role that TT can play and the opportunities that we can give to our young people, in a world where hugely profitable opportunities can come their way if their talents are harnessed and developed early.
"It's the whole question of operationalising the Brian Lara Academy. The Brian Lara Stadium was meant to be an academy."
The venue was packed last weekend as two matches in the popular 2023 Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League were held in front of capacity crowds.
"It has been used as a cricket ground, hosting matches, which have been successful, but the concept as an academy has never been operationalised, and that is one of the discussions that we will look at going forward," Rowley said. "Both for our people at home and for the regional development of the game as well, and there are other interests along those lines. Our future is full of interesting possibilities.
"It was supposed to be a place where you nurture the talent in cricket and they get their education at cricket and cricket (would) be a major part of the curriculum at that academy. That was the vision."