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Umpires, Scorers Warn Against Cricket Report

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PRESIDENT of the Umpires and Scorers’ Council Parasram Singh is warning against the unconscionable haste to adopt the controversial Independent Revue Committee’s Report on the Governance of Cricket in Trinidad and Tobago. Singh also knocked what he described as a campaign of misinformation and hysteria conducted in the local media by disgruntled members of the […]

PRESIDENT of the Umpires and Scorers’ Council Parasram Singh is warning against the unconscionable haste to adopt the controversial Independent Revue Committee’s Report on the Governance of Cricket in Trinidad and Tobago.

Singh also knocked what he described as a campaign of misinformation and hysteria conducted in the local media by disgruntled members of the National League who he said are hellbent on fast-tracking their ascension to power without due process.

“The Umpires and Scorers’ Union has studied the report and we have come to the conclusion that it contains worthy observations and recommendations. However, we are totally against its adoption in its present form and will insist on further discussion and debate at cricket board level before any action is taken,” said Singh.

Singh said that the chief proponents of the wholesale adoption in quick time of the IRC report, former national cricketers Daren Ganga and Dinanath Ramnarine are hoping that the it will set the stage for early elections when they will make another attempt to unseat the incumbent administration.

“We must remind the national community that it is the same National League officials who brought legal action against the cricket board two years ago which has cricket in its current limbo.

“The matter is currently in the High Court and the cricket board of which the Umpires and Scorers Union is a part, have to fork out hundreds of thousand of dollars in legal fees to defend their cause.

“We are also very concerned about the possible effect the IRC report will have on the outcome of the High Court action. And we are very cautious about undermining the administration of local cricket by the reckless and self-serving action advocated by the cricket provocateurs,” said Singh.

The North East Zone official also made a scathing assessment of the contents of the IRC Report saying that from the perspective of the Umpires and Scorers, it was a major disappointment.

Singh said the umpires and scorers make up one of the most important component of the local cricket industry, but this was clearly lost on the IRC headed by Justice Vashiest Kokaram, newspaper columnist Dr Sheila Rampersad and Ellis Lewis, a former cricket board president.

“We are very hurt that under the ‘List of Recommendations,’ the goodly IRC members has devoted one line to the umpires and scorers of Trinidad and Tobago. It states:   ‘Serious attention by the Board of concerns about umpiring standards and the legitimate concerns of umpires over their retention programs’, “ said Singh.

Singh said it showed disrespect and disregard of the role that umpires and scorers play in the development of cricket and he impressed on the committee that a match cannot be played without the presence of an umpire, and scorer.

“The role of the umpires and scorers cannot be minimized and the IRC report does not do justice to us. We are also of the view that in the recommended governance structure of the IRC, we are not being afforded representation commensurate with the pivotal role we play,” said Singh

He also staunchly defended the performance of umpires over the years, their consistent and note-worthy development and the self-less sacrifice and service they have been making without regard for monetary compensation.

“Umpires and Scorers have made tremendous progress over the years under the cricket board and we can be proud pf the development of several local officials including Joel Wilson, an ICC Elite umpire; Zahid Bassarath and Danesh Ramdhanie, two leading regional umpires; and Peter Nero who currently leads the Cricket West Indies Umpires Training and Exams Committee.

“We are also seeing an uptick of young people including women, who are coming into the umpiring and scoring fold and we have been seeing the value of our public relations campaign to encourage people to come forward and seriously explore careers in this   field in all the zones. But sadly, this has not made any impression on the IRC,” said Singh.

He said the IRC report is heavily skewed towards aspects of governance, and not development. He warned that without a strong cricket product, programs and plans to identify and nurture talent, there will be nothing to govern.

“We are very worried that the IRC report is taking us along a road that will place us in more trouble than we are currently in. We note to worrying inclination to seek litigation against a duly elected board, misinformation and fake news against the administrators of cricket designed to discourage sponsors and benefactors, and the unjustified attacks on the character and integrity of committed and dedicated people.

“The umpires and scorers in local cricket have identified the danger to cricket not in the perceived absence of governance principles, but the questionable character and moral deficiency of those offering themselves.

“Their track record raises serious questions about suitability. We do not want darlings of the media controlling cricket who can charm their way into top positions, but once they get there do not really do anything for cricket.

“The process adopted by the cricket board in removing all the hurdles before the adoption of the useful parts of the IRC report after studied debate and discussion is one that has met with the resounding approval of the major stakeholders and board members.

“We will not be bullied or threatened with legal action into doing anything which could have long-lasting negative implications for cricket. The IRC report is not a panacea for all the ills of cricket. It has its faults and we will dissect it and make it relevant to what can be of immediate benefit,” said Singh.

The IRC committee was set up late last year to examine the governance of the game and submitted their contentious report early this year. It has generated great interest with many calling for adoption of certain parts, while others see no merit in the present situation facing the cricket board.

 

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