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TTCB boss not resting on laurels

By JOEL BAILEY Wednesday, October 30 2013

AZIM BASSARATH is not resting on his laurels, having defeated Dinanath Ramnarine by 28 votes to 20, on Saturday, to claim a third term as president of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB).

Bassarath got the nod during the Board’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the National Cricket Centre, Balmain, Couva.

The TTCB is currently overseeing preparations, in conjunction with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for the staging of the 2014 Regional Super50 tournament, scheduled to take place in January. Trinidad and Tobago will be hosting the tournament for the next three years, according to a recent announcement from the WICB.

“We are hoping that our marketing committee are going to start to work vigorously since the elections are over now to make sure that we maximise our efforts so that everything will be going on properly, and having other Ministries involved,” said Bassarath during an interview on Monday. “It’s in the peak Carnival period also. He continued, “we must remember that these games are going to be televised live across the world via ESPN. We would want to showcase Trinidad and Tobago to the world.

“We would be approaching the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism to partner with us on this Super50 tournament for two weeks, where we can showcase Trinidad and Tobago to the world because tourism and Carnival (are some) of the things that you can gain foreign exchange by showcasing Trinidad and Tobago, which is very cheap.

Bassarath added, “showcasing Trinidad and Tobago, which will cost us next to nothing with the cricket, so that we can get tourists to come to Trinidad and Tobago for the next year and the following year, for the same Super50 tournament.”

Bassarath, who was then vice-president to Deryck Murray, defeated his boss in the 2009 elections, and have been at the helm since.

But he overcame a tough challenge by Ramnarine, the former TT and West Indies leg-spinner and West Indies Players Association (WIPA) president, to retain his post as TTCB head.

“It was extremely gratifying and satisfying to know that we came out on top,” he acknowledged. “What we did is that we won the entire executive, the positions in the executive. The Movement for Change team won but, all along, we were quietly confident that we were going to win because we were doing our homework. We knew we had the support of all the affiliates of the boards and some of the zones. Although in the press, it was reported that some zones were supporting and were behind Mr Ramnarine.

“It was not true and, at the end of the day, the results of the Cricket Board elections showed that we were being supported all along by some of the zones that they said that were supporting him.”

Concerning the homework aspect, Bassarath revealed, “what we did was that we worked quietly with the affiliates because all over the four years that we were in office. We supported our affiliates, we worked together with the affiliates — the Secondary Schools, the Primary Schools, the Women’s Associations, the Umpires, all of those people we worked quietly together with and they were satisfied with our performance which is most important.

“That is why I feel that, at the end of the day, although the other side was sort of courting those affiliates, those affiliates supported us in the end, because they knew they could have trusted us. They had the confidence in us and the relationships continue the same as it was before because our interest is to serve cricket across Trinidad and Tobago.”

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