TTCB says: No secession on the cards
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, CMC – Trinidad and Tobago’s cricket authorities have reaffirmed their commitment to West Indies cricket following controversial comments by team captain Daren Ganga suggesting the twin-island republic could compete as a separate entity in international cricket.
In a statement, T&T Cricket Board president Azim Bassarath said any such secession would be a “major setback” to regional cricket development and ensuring West Indies cricket returned to its halcyon days.
Ganga, currently leading T&T in the Champions League Twenty20, told noted cricket website ESPN Cricinfo there was “an opportunity to head in that direction” of playing alone in international cricket especially with the Trinidadian public seemingly in favour of the idea.
“We do not share the view of Mr Ganga that the general public is in support of an independent national team in world cricket,” Bassarath said. We think this would be counterproductive to the rich legacy of West Indies cricket and a major setback to the efforts to restore the region to its former glory days as undisputed champions of the world for close to two decades.
“We are justifiably proud that the T&T cricketers can compete at the highest levels as a national team but we believe that they continue to form a significant and important component of West Indies cricket. T&T’s success can be transferred to the regional team through the re-affirmation of the qualities that have earned them international acclaim in the Champions League T20.”
T&T swept their qualifying matches to reach the main draw of the CLT20 but have since lost both their games in close finishes. They went under by one wicket to Mumbai Indians on Monday before losing to New South Wales on the one-over eliminator two days later.
In their first outing in the tournament two years ago, the Ganga-led unit played unbeaten to reach the final where they lost by 41 runs to NSW.
Their performance then also sparked speculation about a solo role for T&T in international cricket. Bassarath said, however, that Ganga needed to remember that T&T’s qualification for the CLT20 was only possible because of their participation in the West Indies Cricket Board T20 tournament.
“Mr Ganga knows fully well that we cannot qualify for the Champions League T20 without participating in the WICB tournament since these conditions are clearly outlined in the rules. The unique conglomeration of talent in the West Indies allows us to compete as an individual nation at the Champions League T20, only the second in the tournament’s history after Guyana,” the TTCB top administrator pointed out.
He added: “We remain committed to the ideal of West Indies as a truly regional representative team and the case for working together for the benefit of all the stakeholders in regional cricket is still relevant now as it was many years ago. There are problems but a deterioration in the union is not something we will be party to.”