Lara opens up on feelings over Tarouba stadium
Cricket superstar Brian Lara has admitted to feeling embarrassed due to the controversy over the Tarouba Cricket Academy that bears his name.
The Brian Lara Cricket Academy will officially open today thirteen years after construction began.
Speaking to the media on Thursday at a press conference at his residence, Lara said: “This morning I woke up to the usual beautiful noise of the yellow-winged parrots as they head on their daily routine in search of food. As that noise subsided my mind and heart returned to that other noise that has had me perplexed, disappointed not in anyone but myself.
“And, of course, a little embarrassed. I believe it unnecessary for me to address the furore over the construction of the Tarouba facility and the integrity of the same because I am not in any way qualified to speak on such topics. We heard from professionals and I am satisfied. What I can say though is that I visited the venue on many occasions and made suggestions which I have seen been implemented."
In a lengthy address, Lara recalled that it has been 18 years since late Prime Minister Patrick Manning came to him and asked what he wanted after breaking the Test record with 400 runs.
"This country has given me too much already, the love and support, the tangibles and intangibles I am truly grateful for and still am. I felt that young cricketers in the Caribbean needed better facilities and a place where they could advance their skills both sporting and academically in the right environment. Today we are on our way to completing that dream, that discussion," he said.
"This is not only a dream, this is a possibility that can inspire us to be better. I dug deep and wondered what would make this facility different from others in T&T, what could make it self-sufficient and not dependent on Government funding for operational and upkeep...this facility does not belong to me but it bears my name, but this is maybe the most significant piece of real estate and I want my legacy to speak about it in a positive way."
Expressing emotions that he has not shown publicly, Lara said no one knows who he is or asked the important questions to truly understand him and what woke him up on his darkest days to fight looking for that tiny ray of light to soldier on towards it.
"I felt through this Stadium/Academy I could express those things in a way you may not understand and appreciate today but our children, grandchildren and their children will understand in years to come," he said.
Addressing Sachin Tendulkar's decision to pull out of the opening game tonight, Lara said Tendulkar's schedule did not allow him to come at this time but he has promised to come to T&T soon. He told reporters that the controversy over a decision to name a stand after Tendulkar did not augur well for the country's tourism.
He said Tendulkar did not seem fazed by the controversy.
Lara will head a T20 team for the opening tonight which is already sold out according to reports.
Here are the teams for that game.
Terryne Sunil Fray
Trinidad and Tobago Brian Lara XI