Farewell event planned for Kensington Oval

A farewell event has been scheduled at Kensington Oval on May 30 and 31 when Barbadians will pay tribute to the famous stadium before it is demolished and a new stadium is built for the World Cup games in 2007. A ground steeped in rich tradition, Kensington Oval is currently hosting it's final Test, between West Indies and Pakistan, after which the renovation process will begin.

The two-day event, called 'Forever Kensington', will feature historical narratives and live performances by Barbados' top entertainers. "We wanted to pay tribute to Kensington on the eve of the redevelopment in a way fitting for her stature, history and contribution to the game of cricket and the life of Barbadians as we move from this to a new era," Ricky Craig, chief executive officer of the Barbados Cricket Association, was quoted as saying in The Daily Times. Several memorabilia will be on sale in an exhibiiton that will take place on May 31.

Kensington Oval has the distinction of hosting the first Test in the West Indies, when England toured in 1930. It went on to become one of the most impressive grounds in the Caribbean and was a West Indian fortress for many decades. After the ongoing Test, the ground is set to be demolished and a new stadium, with a capacity of 28,000, will be constructed.

Meanwhile, the 40 living Barbados cricketers who have represented West Indies - including illustrious names such as Clyde Walcott, Everton Weekes, Garfield Sobers and Gordon Greenidge - have formed a company to promote Barbados cricket around the world. There main purpose is to team up with international, regional and local sponsors to generate funds to promote Barbados cricket.