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Upgrade work for NCC coming

By RENALDO MATADEEN Wednesday, May 9 2012

PRESIDENT of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) Azim Bassarath is hoping that corporate TT invest more in the game to enhance its development.

Bassarath outlined some initiatives that he wanted to see come to fruition and admitted that the Ministry of Sport, Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago as well as corporate entities were all essential to the plans.

He revealed that following the Red Force’s dismal Four-Day regional campaign, there were considerations to lengthen the Premiership from two to three days of cricket. Bassarath professed that this could help improve the local batting and also elevate the youth cricketing standard.

He added that despite concerns over the domestic and youth scene, the likes of Akeal Hosein, Savion Lara, Jeremy Solozano, Jovan Ali and Ewart Nicholson proved that national league has very capable youngsters.

Bassarath also conferred that a strategic plan was in place regarding upgrading the National Cricket Centre in Balmain as well remodel the local Cricket Academy similar to the High Performance Centre in Barbados.

Newsday understand this upgrade includes the construction of a cricket stands as well as lighting facility which will enable supporters to come out to the facility and see night matches.

The local cricket boss pointed out that while there is a training period for national teams from September to December at the current academy, he wanted a more permanent programme which will prepare cricketers for all level of the sport.

“With just three months, from September to December, to do any kind of preparation is definitely not enough. So what I want to see is a more comprehensive programme within the proposed academy for the young cricketers.”

Bassarath used the Australian Cricket Academy as a template but stressed that funds would be needed.

He thanked the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago (NGC) and British Gas TT for their contributions to the development of the sport and urged corporate entities to follow. “Sponsor and gain advertisement within the sport” Bassarath said. He stated also that with the 2012 Nokia Champions League coming up in the summer, the time was right to invest.

Bassarath also implored TT to get behind Women’s cricket and confirmed that franchises would be brokered for a local T20 tournament to welcome the Indian “A” team to the Caribbean in June. He divulged that his board was also looking to implement more coaching developmental programmes in conjunction with the WICB.

The president stated that the public symposium hosted by the TTCB in June would be integral. He concluded that he wanted input from all fans and personnel as to how the TTCB can improve the quality of the sport and get fans back in the stands.

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