Sports Minister Darryl Smith yesterday refused to comment on whether Dinanath Ramnarine, Chairman of the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT), should have recused himself from the bid process for the 2018 Women’s T20 World Cup.
Ramnarine, a former West Indies cricketer, is currently embroiled in a legal battle with the TTCB Executive over the cricket body’s constitution. The matter is before the court and resulted in the October 2016 AGM of the TTCB postponed indefinitely.
Asked specifically whether Ramnarine should have been the liaison between the TTCB and the Sports Ministry concerning bidding for matches, Smith, who was at the National Aquatic Centre in Couva, said, “No comment.”
In a press release previously, the TTCB denied they were to blame for the botched bid, laying the blame instead on the Sports Ministry and SporTT.
“In fact, a timeline, outlining in full detail the developments leading to the failed effort, paints a clear picture of inertia of the highest levels of the ministry beginning when top officials were informed of the bid process and the necessity to act expediently. And despite the best efforts of the TTCB, the lethargy and seeming disinterest of the ministry to lend support to the bid, led to the chaos and frenzied campaign at the end to cast blame for the bureaucratic disaster,” the press release stated.
“To compound the confusion created by the loud silence of Government’s intentions with regard to hosting the world event, a chairman of a state body, who has taken the TTCB to court, was asked by the minister of sport for his advice. And to no one’s surprise, least of all the TTCB, the recommendation was made that Government decline the golden opportunity to host some of the world’s best women cricketers, generate foreign revenue and reject a chance to showcase Trinidad and Tobago to an audience of close to 200 million people expected to watch the matches across the world.”
The TTCB said the Sports Ministry and Sport Company were alerted about the potential to host matches here on September 29 but both bodies were extremely tardy in replying to emails and requests for meetings. This, the TTCB said, resulted in this country missing the October 16, 2017, deadline to send a Letter of Intent to Cricket West Indies. The local cricket body said the Sport Company and Sports Ministry declined invitations last year to attend a venue inspection on November 2 and a Bid Summit in Antigua on November 22. A November 27 request for a meeting with the Sports Ministry was ignored, according to the TTCB.
A December 1 meeting among stakeholders was, however, attended by Ramnarine but the SporTT Chairman later recommended TT not bid for the World Cup due to the uncertainty concerning what it would cost and having to spend US currency when it is currently at a shortage.