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February 8, 2007
When the World Cup bowls off in Trinidad on March 15, many will view the experience from the attractive, scenic new pavilion of the Queen's Park Oval.
The new pavilion was officially opened on Tuesday evening, after more than 18 months of construction to ready the venue for the impending tournament. The impressive new venue boasts an area of over 60,000 square feet, roughly two and a half times the size of the previous pavilion.
Apart from this, when all the features of the pavilion are completed, it will comprise a library and museum space on the ground floor, as well as a top class health, spa, gymnasium and restaurant facilities, and an entertainment centre with satellite TV and other comforts. There will also be a President's Box, and a bpTT Corporate Box.
During the opening of the pavilion, Queen's Park Cricket Club president William "Willie" Rodriguez thanked the Government, the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs and the T&T Local Organising Committee for the World Cup for their contributions to the modernisation of the Oval and pavilion.
"The Oval is the only venue in the West Indies, and one of four in the world to host more than 50 Test matches and 51 ODIs," Rodriguez explained during the formal opening ceremony. He also pointed out that the Oval once lay claim to "State-of-the-Art" facilities when the old pavilion was constructed in the 1950s, adding that they became "obsolete years ago".
Rodriguez also gave his club's mission statement :"To make the QPCC the premium sporting club in the region, and the premier choice of recreation for its members." And he said he felt the development of the club's facilities would go a long way towards doing that. Rodriguez also paid homage to bpTT for their contributions towards the project, saying: "we stand here tonight only because of the generosity of bpTT"
President George Maxwell Richards was the feature speaker at the event, and he outlined the importance of the Queen's Park Oval in West Indies cricket. "Our past in the field of cricket is indelibly written in the annals of Queen's Park Cricket Club," the president explained. "For us in Trinidad and Tobago, there is no question that Queen's Park played a critical role in the development of cricket throughout the country."
President Richards also credited the Queen's Park Cricket Club with igniting "enthusiasm for the game even from within the confines of club membership" from its inception in 1891. "There was no stopping the emergence of world class talent which resided outside this enclave," he pointed out, "but Queen's Park set the pace which adherents had to follow."
Richards added that: "Our cricketers have played their part in contributing to the legendary success of the West Indies cricket team during what can be described as the golden age of West Indies cricket."
Following the president's speech, he and the QPCC president unveiled the commemorative plaque, to formally open the pavilion to members of the club.
© Trinidad & Tobago Express
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