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Bassarath wants to raise cricket standard

Sunday, August 4 2013

PRESIDENT of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (T&TCB) Azim Bassarath has sent out a warning to local cricket administrators to continue to lift their standards as there is still much to accomplish.

He issued the challenge recently when the T&TCB hosted an appreciation function for the national Under-17 and Under-15 teams who recently captured both regional championships.

The function was staged at the Sir Frank Worrell Development Centre at Balmain in Couva on Wednesday when outstanding members of the teams as well as their technical staff were honoured and presented with trophies.

Also in attendance were leading T&TCB officials Dudnath Ramkessoon, Arjoon Ramlal, Baldath Mahabir, Dr Allen Sammy, Patrick Rampersad and T&TCB CEO Suruj Ragoonath.

Also assisting in the distribution of prizes was Wendell Constantine Communications and brands Manager of BGTT; and MP for Couva South Rudranath Indarsingh.

Bassarath said the double-triumph represented a special day in the history of Trinidad and Tobago’s cricket. “We are blessed by having in our presence two teams of regional champions. Our national Under-17 team, captained by Amir Jhangoo, coached by Dasrath Maharaj and managed by Stephen Martel; as well as our Under-15 team, led by Aaron Kallicharan, coached by Glen Dwarika, and managed by Anthony Ramjit and kept fit and ready by Gerard Garcia,” he said.

Bassarath said Trinidad and Tobago is well known for the consistently high quality performances of its T20 team, the Red Force, and even better known for having eight players on the 2012 World Cup winning T20 team, as well as shining stars in franchise cricket around the world.

He said the names of Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine, Kevon Cooper, Ravi Rampaul, Lendl Simmons and Samuel Badree light up the advertising boards around the world which have made everyone proud. “However, ladies and gentlemen, as president of this remarkable organisation called the T&TCB, I am more proud of my executive, my members, my constituents at zonal, primary and secondary schools level.

“We, despite the international successes of this small nation, have not taken our eyes off the ball. We have kept our focus, knowing full well, that we must use the light of stardom that is upon our cricketers, to show the way forward for the next generation.

“And, you regional winners are the next generation. It is not an easy task to produce quality from the top all the way to the grassroots level. This needs an army of committed, dedicated, competent and fair people. We at the TTCB are proud to say, we are this army. Working together for the betterment of our sport, our people, our country and our region,” Bassarath said.

“We are being factual, not boastful, when we say that locally and regionally, we are leaders in the organisation and implementation of sporting excellence,” he said.

“While today we bask in the warmth of success, we are still not satisfied, we can’t be. We need success from our U-19s, from our women cricketers, from our Super 50 and Four-Day teams.

“We need success from our players on all West Indies teams. We need a consistent high quality West Indies team, as world champions in more than one format. Yes TT is doing well, but we want all regional teams to do well, to improve their standards and so collectively, we will once again rise to the top of world cricket,” he said.

Bassarath said the T&TCB will not be satisfied until there are sufficiently high quality coaches, manager, trainers, physiotherapists and other technically trained persons.

“We will not be satisfied until we embrace cutting edge technology to assist our technical staff and players. We will not be satisfied until our domestic club cricket improves, both on and off the field. We will not be satisfied until we can improve and upgrade our facilities here at Balmain, to world standard. Those are the goals we have set ourselves,” Bassarath said.

Bassarath revealed that the T&TCB has been struggling to receive funding from the agency directly charged with providing financial assistance for National Sporting Organisations. “This though a major, major, setback has merely slowed us, not stopped us from achieving.

“You, young men are testimony to that. This board has found the resources to allow you to develop your talents and display them to the world. Whether we get funding or not, as responsible men and women, we see ourselves as your de facto parents. We will attempt to stretch what we have, maximise our personal inputs and always go the extra mile,’ he said.

Bassarath expressed his appreciation for the support of the organisation’s many corporate partners who recognise and value the work of the T&TCB. “BGTT has been our major youth development partner, for 19 years. BGTT, thanks is hardly ever enough but that is what we can offer from the depths of our hearts.

“We know, that like us, the training and development of our youth is paramount and their success is music to your hearts as well. We also applaud the efforts of the National Gas Company, PowerGen, Atlantic , Scotiabank and the many others who have joined us in our youth development programmes,” Bassarath said.

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