Bassarath eager to serve in WICB role

Trinidad & Tobago Newsday article.

Port of Spain, Trinidad - Azim Bassarath is eager to serve in his role as a director of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), having replaced the long-serving Dr Allen Sammy as one of two Trinidad and Tobago directors on the regional governing body. But Bassarath will still remain as the president of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB).

In a telephone interview yesterday Bassarath said, “Each territorial board have the option to send two representatives on the (West Indies Cricket) Board. We feel that it was time for (me) to go on board as president of Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board.” 

He continued, “Dr Sammy and (Baldath) Mahabir were the two representatives from the time when this (TTCB) administration took office in 2009. The executive decided that it was time for us to make a change. They decided that, as president of the Board, they think that it was in the best interest of the (TT) Board that the president should go into the (WI) Board as a director.” 

Concerning the decision to replace Dr Sammy as a WICB director, Bassarath remarked, “it wasn’t in any way that Dr Sammy wasn’t doing a good job. Dr Sammy has made a sterling contribution to West Indies cricket, and to Trinidad and Tobago cricket. We feel that it was time that having served eight years on the (WI) Board, he did make his contribution.” 

He made it clear that he was not joining the rest of WICB directors to simply make up numbers. 

“I will continue to work with the other directors of the Board to make sure that we meet our immediate goals in that propelling West Indies cricket to the highest level,” said Bassarath. “I will continue to work with Dr Sammy (and having him) much involved in all aspects of the game. 

“I will continue to do what Dr Sammy used to do and lend the support to the other territorial boards (and) the other directors to make sure that West Indies cricket go back up to the top in the world,” he added. 

Dr Sammy, when contacted yesterday, admitted that he held no ill-will towards anyone regarding the decision. “The president ought to be represented in my view.” However, Dr Sammy remains as the TTCB first vice-president. 

Reflecting on his tenure as a WICB director, Dr Sammy noted, “I saw a transformation from the time of Ken Gordon in 2005 to (Dr) Julian Hunte in 2007. They all had their strengths and they all had their particular focuses. 

“I was happy to serve under Julian Hunte. He set about to transform the management of the West Indies Cricket Board. 

“He made me the chairman of the Cricket Umpires Committee and I was also the chairman of the Women’s Development Committee,” Dr Sammy continued. “I was made chairman, under Dave Cameron, of the High Performance Centre (HPC) in Barbados.” 

The WICB Director of Cricket, England-born Richard Pybus, recently presented a report which outlined a number of changes to the administrative—arm of the game regionally. 

“What has happened is we met a month ago in Barbados and we took a collective decision to make the (HPC) committee redundant in its present form because the Centre will now be the second best (institute) in the Caribbean,” Dr Sammy pointed out. 

“It has to be more management-driven and not committee-driven. We took that voluntarily decision.” 

Dr Sammy will still remain as chairman of the WICB Cricket Development Committee but he admitted, “nothing is forever.” 

He stated, “I thought that I had a good time. 

“I think that we made a contribution and, in spite of the criticisms of West Indies cricket, we won the T20 World Cup (in 2012). 

“We did reasonably well in the T20 and ODI (One Day Internationals) but not good enough at the Tests.” 

Dr Sammy ended, “the transformation is a very slow one. 

“The radical moves that Pybus has recommended will help to project the fortunes of West Indies cricket even more quickly.”

First Published In The Trinidad & Tobago Newsday.

Sat, 05/10/2014 - 08:37