Bassarath renews call for cricket unity

Trinidad & Tobago Newsday article.

Port of Spain, Trinidad - President of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) Azim Bassarath has renewed his call for all stakeholders in the local game to come together and work for the development of the sport in the national interest.

Bassarath extended the olive branch, not for the first time since the heated national executive election build-up two months ago, when he addressed board colleagues and specially invited guests at their annual end-of-year function on Friday night at the National Cricket Centre, Balmain, Couva. 

“The elections have ended and we have prevailed, but this is not the end. It is in fact the beginning of a new era. We hope that all the stakeholders in the game will come together and work for national development using cricket as the tool,” said Bassarath. 

He again echoed his call for his rivals in the national executive elections — Dinanath Ramnarine and Daren Ganga — to come together with the present executive and work in the interest of the betterment of the sport of cricket which he said continues to transform lives daily. 

Bassarath also announced that the refurbishment of the Sir Frank Worrell Development Centre in Balmain, Couva will begin the process of creating an international standard facility for cricket in central Trinidad. 

The leader of the Movement for Change group which was returned to governance for a three-year term in office last October told the audience that Friday’s function was to be the last staged there before the first phase of the refurbishment project begins. 

The Developmental Centre, located adjacent to the Alloy Lequay Administrative Centre, is the brainchild of former board president and chief executive officer Dr Alloy Lequay who was present at Friday’s appreciation dinner and was lauded by Bassarath for his vision in establishing the centre. 

Bassarath also paid tribute to Ellis Lewis, another former president of the TTCB who was also present on Friday along with other top officials on the current national executive including Dr Allen Sammy (first vice-president), Lalman Kowlessar (second vice-president), Arjoon Ramlal (general secretary), Sukesh Maniam (treasurer); and national executive members Patrick Rampersad, Ann Brown-John, Tarandath Sammy and Director of Cricket Operations Dudnath Ramkessoon among others. 

Bassarath said that the Development Centre will be closed for the next eight weeks as extensive work is undertaken to enhance the accommodation and training facilities that has over the years fallen into disrepair. 

Following this important first phase of the ambitious project, focus will be on the rehabilitation of the National Cricket Centre ground which the TTCB is planning to turn into an alternate international playing venue. 

Bassarath revealed that plans are also afoot to have a the NCC playing field properly lighted for night cricket as well as having an efficient drainage system installed and better covers acquired to ensure there is no seepage on the pitch during inclement weather. 

Bassarath added that the TTCB will be partnering with several corporate citizens of the Pt Lisas Industrial Estate, regarded as the industrial gateway of the Americas, to invigorate the board’s plans and programmes for 2014 and onwards. 

He paid tribute to the board’s sponsors who over the years have contributed meaningfully to their programmes.

First Published In The Trinidad & Tobago Newsday.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 04:02