Former Sri Lanka cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga and dashing South Africa opener Hershelle Gibbs are among a host of stars of yesteryear who will don cricket gear once again and take to the pitch tomorrow evening for the opening of the Brian Lara Cricket Stadium in Tarouba.
Former West Indies and Trinidad and Tobago legend Brian Lara, who is simultaneously launching the Brian Lara Cricket Academy (BLCA), will lead out a Brian Lara XI for the exhibition T20 affair that bowls off at 7pm. The official main event, the ceremonial opening of the newly refurbished facility, is carded for 6pm but the gates will be opened from 3pm.
The Lara XI also includes a host of past and present West Indies players, including Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Mervyn Dillon, Kevon Cooper, Jason Mohammed and new Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT) chairman Dinanath Ramnarine.
Ramnarine, the former West Indies Players Association (WIPA) president and West Indies spinner, was confirmed as SPORTT chairman this week by the Ministry of Finance, which is the Corporation Sole of State enterprises.
“I am deeply honoured to have the opportunity to serve my country once again in the field of sport,” Ramnarine told the Ministry of Sport’s Communication Department. “In this regard, I look forward to working closely with the honourable Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Board of Directors, the hard-working staff of The Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago as well as the key stakeholders in the various sporting organisations to make a meaningful contribution.”
Ramnarine’s first engagement as chairman will be at tomorrow’s event in Tarouba. Tickets for supporters cost TT$100 and are on sale at all NLCB outlets.
Despite an early announcement by Sport Minister Darryl Smith, former India cricket captain and icon Sachin Tendulkar will not take part while the final squads were only decided upon and released to the media within 48 hours of the start of the event.
The full cast of players is as follows:
Trinidad and Tobago Brian Lara XI:
Brian Lara, Dwayne Bravo, Kevon Cooper, Mervyn Dillon, Rayad Emrit, Kirsten Kallicharan, Lyndon Lara, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Denesh Ramdin, Dinanath Ramnarine, Navin Stewart and Tion Webster,
Arjuna Ranatunga, Curtly Ambrose, Ian Bradshaw. Courtney Browne, Johnson Charles, Corey Collymore, Kirk Edwards Andre Fletcher, Terryne Sunil Fray, Herschelle Gibbs, Imran Khan, Devon Malcolm, Ricardo Powell, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Gladstone Small.