Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar is all set to have a stand named after him at the Brian Lara Cricket Stadium. The two cricket icons from West Indies and India, Brian Lara and Tendulkar are all set to play the first-ever competitive match at the stadium based in Tarouba. However, the president of the Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB), Azim Bassarath, has questioned the decision to name a stand after Tendulkar, saying what has the former Indian cricketer has ever done for the sport in the West Indies or even Trinidad & Tobago. The Brian Lara Cricket Stadium, which was slated to host a few matches of the ICC World Cup 2007, will finally be inaugurated on May 13, 2017.
According to the Guardian Media Limited, Michael Phillips, the chairman of the Sports Company of Trinidad & Tobago, has confirmed that the decision to name a stand after Tendulkar has been taken in consultation with Lara. “Our decision to name the stand after Mr Tendulkar was done on the advice of Mr Brian Lara. We have included Mr Lara in our decision making process in terms of how we roll out the launch and management of both the stadium and the academy,” Phillips said.
Tendulkar would be playing the game in the stadium’s first-ever game, but Bassarath says it would be been more apt to have named a stand after a cricketer from the region. “India have so many stadia and I don’t know any of them have stands named after any of our West Indian greats so why must we name a stand after Tendulkar. I thought there would be stands named after Ian Bishop, or Larry Gomes or Gus Logie or even the late Rangie Nanan. Not Tendulkar.”
Another bone of contention that Bassarath has is his claim that TTCB were not consulted on the operations of the Brian Lara Cricket Stadium, and several of the facilities were put in place in the last 12 months after inputs from the ‘representative governing bodies’. Bassarath was also surprised with the fact that a separate board was put in place to run the stadium, and not the regional governing body.
On his part, Phillips said, “We have no intentions of running cricket. The fact is any organisation can set up a cricket academy or provide training for cricketers so we are not usurping the functions of the TTCB. What I will also say is if you look at many of the sporting bodies in T&To you realise there is a need for greater balance and there are times when they are accused of having a vested interest in certain athletes and not others. We want to ensure all talent rises to the top.”