Princes Town MP Barry Padarath says that the announcement made by Sport Minister Darryl Smith that Indian Star Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar is coming to play for the opening of the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba is an attempt by the government to sanitize the facility after being shrouded in controversy, allegations of bobol, waste and mismanagement. The stadium is to be opened with a match between Lara’s team and Tendulkar’s team on May 13th 2017.
Padarath said that the announcement of Tendulkar’s participation was a clear attempt to distract the population from the issues that have been associated with the stadium. He reminded that the stadium was the subject of the UFF commission of inquiry that unearthed serious and damning allegations of corruption, misappropriation and possible criminal conduct. It was under a PNM administration that the stadium commenced with a budget of 275 million and it is a PNM government that will open the facility having cost overruns surpassing one billion dollars.
Padarath stated that it appeared that it was a calculated move to invite Tendulkar to open the facility to attract nationals to the event because of his popularity. However he added that it was sad to see that the legendary cricketer was being used as a pawn to mask the indecency and wonton corruption that was facilitated in the construction of a project that was promised for the ICC 2007 Cricket World Cup.
The Princes Town MP lamented that while government was focusing their efforts and resources on the Tarouba Stadium, there were other projects that could have direct impact on the lives of the nation’s citizens that remain at a standstill. He called for the government to show a similar commitment to the opening of the Couva Children’s Hospital and indicated that the population would find greater satisfaction and comfort in those facilities receiving government’s attention.
Padarath called on Tendulkar not to let his name be tarnished by aligning himself to the opening of this facility that has been disgraced and dogged by scandal. He indicated that government should have invited Tendulkar for opening of the Children’s Hospital during his visit as Tendulkar is an advocate and an ambassador for “Children against Cancer”, for children in need of eye donations and Children in need of education instead of the corruption riddled stadium.
The Princes Town MP reiterated his call to Tendulkar not to stain the goodwill of his name and disassociate himself with the facility that has been immersed in massive amounts of waste, mismanagement and corruption.