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Bassarath Back In Cricket Election Fray

AS MOST cricket fans in Trinidad and Tobago will be painfully aware, the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) has not received funding from the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (SPORTT) for a very long period. It was however brought to our attention some time ago that a cheque was being processed for […]

AS MOST cricket fans in Trinidad and Tobago will be painfully aware, the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) has not received funding from the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (SPORTT) for a very long period.

It was however brought to our attention some time ago that a cheque was being processed for the TTCB, but a certain chairman, when appointed, stopped the process, allegedly stating that he is not giving the cricket board any funds.

All the while we waited to see if the TTCB would have received the expected much-needed subvention from the SPORTT, but this never materialized.

After speaking to some directors at the SPORTT about this unfortunate development, as president of the TTCB I decided that all measures must be taken to keep the development programs of the TTCB ongoing.

And despite the cash crunch, we have been fairly successful  when other national sports organisations would have easily succumbed and crashed into insolvency

This leads into an event on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, when the long-overdue elections for the Executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board is scheduled to take place.

This important process was unduly delayed as a group of detractors sought legal redress to challenge the constitutionality of the election process but their effort was smacked down by a High Court Judge just before Christmas.

I was contemplating long and hard on whether or not I should contest the elections, having served three terms which have been extremely challenging, yet fulfilling as major objectives in local cricket have been achieved.

After much thought, I have decided to throw my hat back in the ring and it is now left up to the TTCB members to decide whether they are satisfied with me as leader of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board for another term.

With respect to the recent emergence of a purported PricewaterhouseCoopers Audit Report into the activities of the SPORTT, more  questions than answers have been thrust into the public sphere.

For instance, why were only select text messages or voice notes included in this report, while others sent and received by past high-profile members of SPORTT omitted?

The suspicious omissions or deletions include one allegedly by a high-profile board director stating in no uncertain terms, “l want the TTCB to fry  in the pan”.

One would have assumed that if this report was fair and objective, why was certain information purposely left out?

This then begs the question: Was the high-profile SPORTT director involved in vetting the said report? And what exactly was his role in the investigation and the recent leaking of the information?

It is also interesting but not surprising that once again members of the local sports media are being manipulated to pursue a particular narrative in opposition to the cricket board.

A penchant for negative reporting and sensationalism has assumed the profile of an insidious campaign with the fourth estate being not unjustly accused of being embedded in the camp of the self-styled agitators pursuing the overthrow of the legally constituted cricket board.

More evidence of this was recently provided by the suspicious circumstances in which this report, dating back several months, was leaked at this time in an obvious attempt to influence the outcome of the upcoming TTCB elections.

I believe that members of the media must be answerable and held up to the same standards that they judge others by, in the light of  reports of  being seen unconscionably familiarizing and fraternizing at a particular “charity” match in Barrackpore on Saturday last.

Serious introspection is therefore being called for as the true victims in this unfortunate episode in our cricket history are the young cricketers who are being adversely affected by the unwarranted distractions off the field.

And we  at the cricket board are quite optimistic of an improved working relationship with the SPORTT whose new chairman has already shown that he possesses the experience,  administrative capacity and temperament which have given as every reason to be positive in our outlook for cricket in the new year.

I am reiterating here that the cricket board under my tenure has much to be proud off and great strides have been made in the development of the sport.

The sport has grown exponentially as the cricket board stakeholders have each recorded great success in their respective endeavours.

Loyal sponsors have stood with the cricket board, undaunted in their commitment to their corporate responsibility as their investment in national development bears fruit on the local, regional and international stage.

While my detractors have chosen to focus on one singular issue and have successfully beaten it to a frazzle, they are yet to suggest a comprehensive plan to improve the game locally.

Personal attacks, misinformation, innuendo and an abuse of the legal system to bring local cricket to its knees do not constitute a viable plan to gain the trust  and support of the national cricket community.

The only wish of these few discontents is to seize power and control of local cricket to further advance their personal ambitions.

They have shown clearly that they will use any means possible to destroy the game and the reputation of hard-working professionals who have laid the groundwork for a better and brighter future for our cricketers.

I give the assurance that should I gain the support of the TTCB to stand for re-election to the presidency, I will do all in my ability to safeguard and ensure the sustainability of Trinidad and Tobago cricket.

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