The opening of the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad will a grand affair as it promises to bring two of the biggest batting legends of modern day cricket – Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara – back to the cricketing field.
The announcement was made by Trinidad and Tobago Sports Minister Darryl Smith on Thursday following a meeting of the Cabinet.
Both the cricketers will play against each other in the friendly match between Lara XI v Tendulkar XI scheduled on May 13th. The match is to be broadcast globally and will feature local, regional and international players.
The completion of the stadium comes as a huge relief for the cricket fans in Trinidad as it was surrounded by controversy since a long time. Originally slated to be finished before the 2007 Cricket World Cup, the project took 9 more years to complete and was deemed finished in March 2017.
The facility was being built to host the World Cup warm-up matches with a budget of 500 Million TT Dollars. However, as the deadline kept extending the cost of the project kept inflating causing delays.
It is a multi-purpose stadium with facilities such as an aquatic centre, an Olympic-sized cycling velodrome, indoor gymnasium, school for the training of athletes, a large car park, new roads and other infrastructural works. It also has areas specifically designed for the print, radio and television media, respectively.
Both Lara and Tendulkar are behemoths of the cricketing world who ruled the batting charts during their time as players.
Lara, who will be turning 48 in May, played 131 Tests for the West Indies between December 1990 and December 2006. At the time of retirement, Lara was Test cricket’s leading run-scorer with 11,953 runs at an average of 52.88 with 34 Test centuries and 48 half centuries.
Sachin Tendulkar, on the other hand, is currently the leading runs scorer in the Test and ODI format. He overtook Lara’s mark in the Test format on October 17, 2008.
The Indian legend finished with 200 Tests and scored 15, 921 runs at an average of 53.78. He scored 51 centuries and 68 half centuries.
Both the cricketer were last seen on the cricket field during the Cricket All-Stars series in 2015. The unofficial bilateral series between two teams – Sachin’s Blasters and Warne’s Warrior – was organised at the Time Square to promote cricket in the United States of America. This series brought Sachin and Lara together and the two legends batted in the same team.