Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley has dismissed media reports that Government is planning to acquire Kensington Oval, even as he admitted that the current lease arrangements were unsustainable.
A statement issued by the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) this afternoon said Government was “carefully reviewing” the lease arrangements at Kensington Oval ahead of a meeting with the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) on the future management of the sporting facility.
Lashley explained that the BCA had written to the Freundel Stuart administration requesting a meeting to discuss certain matters pertaining to Kensington, and the relevant ministries were examining all the arrangements currently in place with respect to the Oval in preparation for those talks.
“To suggest that there is some new plan to acquire Kensington Oval because the Government sees it as a ‘gold mine’… is really to engage in an exercise of speculation,” Lashley said.
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. That is simply not the case,” Lashley stressed.
He added that Government had already made a substantial investment in Kensington Oval, and hence had a vested interest in preserving the ‘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,” Lashley said. (BGIS)