Government is carefully reviewing the lease arrangements at Kensington Oval in preparation for a meeting with the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) on the future management of that sporting facility.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, made this disclosure in response to an article which appeared in the Midweek Nation of Wednesday, February 22, indicating that discussions were at “an early stage” within Government to compulsorily acquire Kensington Oval.
Mr. Lashley explained that the BCA had written to Government requesting a meeting to discuss certain matters pertaining to Kensington Oval, and the relevant Ministries were examining all the arrangements currently in place with respect to the Oval in preparation for that meeting.
“To suggest that there is some new plan to acquire Kensington Oval because the Government sees it as a ‘gold mine’, as alluded to by the Nation Newspaper, is really to engage in an exercise of speculation,” the Sports Minister stated.
He maintained that his Ministry intended to explore with the BCA “the best way forward” for the future management of Kensington Oval, and in the best interest of cricket generally.
“I am of the view that the lease arrangements currently in place between Government and the BCA with respect to Kensington Oval are unsustainable from a financial perspective, and there is therefore need for a comprehensive discussion between the parties to the lease.
“But even as we prepare to have these discussions on Kensington and related matters, I wish to dispel the notion or impression given by the article that Government is now about to take up millions of dollars of tax payers’ money to acquire Kensington Oval. That is simply not the case,” Mr. Lashley stressed.
The Minister made it clear that Government had already made a substantial investment in Kensington Oval and hence had a vested interest in preserving this ‘Mecca’ of cricket.
“What we have to do in the face of what appears to be an unworkable lease is to address the matters that are of concern and resolve them in a manner that meets the key objectives of all parties involved,” he said.