Manager of the Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC) Jeffrey Guillen has responded to president of the TT Cricket Board Azim Bassarath defending the disappointing season by the TT Red Force and even called for him to move on.
The TT Red Force finished last in the Digicel Regional Four-Day tournament finishing with two wins, five defeats and three draws. Bassarath said the TT Red Force is a young team commended some of the senior players who excelled during the season.
Guillen said, “Mr Bassarath’s remarks are stunning, to say the least. He is happy and contented at our coming last. He continues to do the same thing over and over and expects a different result.”
Guillen also came out in defence of his son Justin who is a QPCC player.
Bassarath said Justin has had a number of chances to make a name for himself on the national team and has not grabbed the opportunity. Guillen said, “His insinuation about my son Justin in today’s (yesterday’s) Guardian is unfortunate but understandable, given his present situation.
As a father, I am extremely proud of my son and his achievements, along with the rest of the (Queen’s Park) boys. They all continue to work so very hard each and every season. As a result we have dominated all competitions over the last ten years and as a club we are second to none in the region.”
Guillen said the administration of cricket in TT is leading to the poor performances of the national team.
“Mr Bassarath conveniently misses the point I was trying to make, as it was not about any individual player, least of all my son, but about his own leadership, both at home and regionally. Our cricket, once the envy of the world, of which all of us were so very proud, continues to decline yearly, and in large part that decline has to do with our administration of our game. The performance of our national team has been declining each and every year.”
Guillen encouraged Bassarath to change the organisation structure of the TTCB saying, “What has he done differently as president to address this unacceptable situation, other than to hold an inquiry every year and just shuffle the pack?
“The organisation of which he is president has employed a CEO and an operations manager. Fair enough, but it does not even have a director of cricket, which in my opinion is most critical, seeing that cricket is the business of the TTCB. Paying players and calling them professionals is not the solution without the creation of a professional environment.”
Guillen added, “I am all for paying players, but that’s only one part of the equation. Creating the right environment, having the right people in charge, having the right cricket structure, emphasis on club structure and development, progressive youth development programmes, specialised training programmes in fielding, batting, bowling conducted by proven and respected personnel, mentoring, scouting for talent in the country – I could go on and on, Mr Bassarath, but I am not a professional commentator.”
Guillen also questioned why QPCC duo Kevon Cooper and Akeal Hosein will not play in the Regional Super50 tournament for the TT Red Force but for another franchise.
“I do have a fair idea of the goings-on in our cricket. Why are Cooper and young Akeal Hosein playing for the Leewards Islands in this 50-over tournament and not for the Red Force? It’s time to move on, sir. We need new leadership and direction so that we can begin rebuilding our cricket and return to our rightful place.”