World Cup organisers search for new venue

Port of Spain, September 21:

Cricket World Cup (CWC) officials have insisted that preparations for next year’s tournament are on track despite being forced to look at alternative venues because the Brian Lara Stadium will not be ready in time.

The stadium in southern Trinidad had been scheduled to host warm-up matches for Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa and Canada ahead of the tournament which gets underway on March 11. Those fixtures will now be played elsewhere after World Cup managing director Chris Dehring confirmed inspectors decided the stadium would not be finished in time.

“With less than six months to the start of the tournament ICC Cricket World Cup is very satisfied that the matter has been deliberated thoroughly, and a final decision for the good of the tournament has been taken,” Dehring said.

“It certainly validates the monitoring process which is in place and shows that CWC has the situation under control. The message to the cricketing world therefore, is that come what may, we are preparing to welcome fans from around the globe to a memorable event and, notwithstanding the odd bump or two, the Cricket World Cup train is building a powerful head of steam and is very much on track.”

CWC Venue Development Director, Donald Lockerbie, credited their “stringent monitoring programme” with a thorough assessment. “Earlier this year, other stadia (Sabina Park and Grenada National Stadium) were behind in their construction schedules but, under careful monitoring, they are now on track,” he said.