The Brian Lara Cricket Academy (BLCA) in Tarouba, Trinidad will serve as TT's only host venue for the June 2024 International Cricket Council (ICC) men's Twenty20 Cricket World Cup, which is being jointly hosted by the West Indies and the US.
This revelation was made on Friday night during the Queen's Park Cricket Club's (QPCC) annual award ceremony. However, the famous Queen's Park Oval is likely to still get a taste of the action.
QPCC president Dr Nigel Camacho told Newsday the venue hopes to host warm-up matches for the World Cup, along with a fan-fest with big screens and fun activities, which he anticipates can generate a Carnival-like atmosphere.
"Although the actual cricket games will be played at the BLCA in Tarouba, the Queen's Park Oval will play a significant role in the tournament throughout the month of June," Camacho said.
"The explanation we were given is the ICC are going to have one venue hosting the games in TT during the tournament and they cannot be moving the cameras back and forth. It becomes an expense factor for the ICC as well, but they recognise the value of the Queen's Park Oval.
"Having the one-two punch – we were told this by Cricket West Indies (CWI) – of Queen's Park Oval and the BLCA in Tarouba, is only beneficial for TT, as CWI president Kishore Shallow said in his feature address.
"Right now, decisions are being made on how Queen's Park can be involved in the (T20 Cricket World Cup). The government (of TT) was pretty adamant a venue like Queen's Park Oval – one that is world famous – must play some role in a World Cup being held in TT. And as such, plans are being made to have Queen's Park Oval be part of the tournament when it is to be hosted in TT."
In September, TT was confirmed as one of seven Caribbean countries to serve as hosts for next year's marquee event. The other Caribbean countries confirmed as hosts are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Grand Prairie in Dallas, Broward County in Florida and Nassau County in New York will also serve as hosts for the tournament which runs from June 4-30.
The Oval venue hosted its first Test match 93 years ago, when the Caribbean men played host to England in the second Test of a four-match series. The St Clair venue was also one of eight host venues for the 2007 50-over World Cup, which was won by Australia.
"In 2007, we were happy to have the brown package and be a big part (of the hosting) of the Cricket World Cup. However, it is a little bit of a disappointment we are not going to be hosting games, but the CWI was adamant we must play a role during the tournament. They are going to give us a cadre of events leading up to the tournament and after the tournament, which makes it attractive to the Queen's Park Oval.
"We accept the challenge and we are going to work hand in hand with the government to ensure both facilities are ready to host a World Cup. In our case, it is about making sure our facility is up to scratch even to host warm-up games and to be a fan-fest, and even to have our heritage museum ready. We have a lot of work to do but we are going to take it on."
Shallow said TT was blessed to have two facilities such as the BLCA and the Queen's Park Oval and the management of these venues was of utmost importance.
"I cannot see the negative of having two world-class facilities (in TT) when the state of infrastructure across the region is not where we would want it to be. You are in a privileged position in TT to have two venues. What it takes is an understanding between QPCC and the shareholders of the BLCA, the TT Cricket Board (TTCB) and the government of TT to ensure there are equal opportunities.
"With the number of matches and tournaments to be played in the Caribbean, I do not anticipate it being a challenge at all. I think it is something most countries would wish for – to have two venues like the Queen's Park Oval and the BLCA. It is just to have those conversations to ensure no one is being put at a disadvantage."
The West Indies are two-time T20 World Cup champions, having won the title under the captaincy of current white-ball coach Daren Sammy in 2012 and 2016. England are the reigning T20 World Cup champions.
(With reporting by Stephon Nicholas)