The famous Kensington Oval Cricket Stadium in Barbados started complete redevelopment last Friday June 17. The old site will be demolished to make way for a spectacular new and improved stadium, which will host the ICC Cricket World Cup Finals in 2007.
The Kensington Oval was built in January 1930 to host the first ever test match in the West Indies when England toured Barbados and has become renowned as one of the best cricket grounds in the world.
Steeped in heritage, history and tradition the West Indies remained unbeaten on the grounds from 1948 until 1993 - it has seen more
than 50,000 runs and 1,000 wickets and previous greats like Sir Gary Sobers who set the world’s benchmark at the stadium in 1971 scoring an astonishing six sixes in one over.
The government of Barbados is investing BDS$90 million for the islands’
infrastructural development, which has been spurred by the immense anticipation of the ICC Cricket World Cup Finals 2007. The new plans for the Kensington Oval will be to create a multi functional sporting complex designed to accommodate an extra 13,000 fans taking the total seating to over 28,000 for the thousands of international cricket fans expected to descend on Barbados for the biggest sporting event ever to be hosted by the iconic Caribbean Island.
The demolition and redevelopment of one of the most-loved stadium in the world is an opportunity to celebrate cricket in Barbados, as well as looking ahead to the future of cricket. Alec Stewart ex-England wicket keeper commented:
“Barbados will always hold great memories for me. The 1994 Test match at the Kensington Oval when England finally won a test after so many years of losses coupled with me scoring twin centuries in the game will stand out as one of the highlights of my career. The people of Barbados have always made me feel welcome on this great island and the biggest compliment they gave me was that they described my
batting as being of ‘Bajan style and quality’. I look forward to returning to see the “new” oval and enjoying this fantastic island”