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Saturday 22 September 2018
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Cricket Chief calls for Sports Company chair to resign

Azim Bassarath

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) Azim Bassarath has called for the immediate resignation of chairman of the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago, Dinanath Ramnarine.

Bassarath made this call following the decision by Government not to bid to host matches in next year’s ICC T20 Women’s World Cup in the Caribbean. However, the TTCB still decided to make a bid on its own. This bid was rejected by Cricket West Indies therefore no matches will be held in TT.

Bassarath laid the blame squarely on the lap of Ramnarine, who by his own admission in newspaper reports, advised the Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith not to support the TTCB’s proposal to host any of the packages up for grabs. This resulted in the costly delay to acquire the required governmental guarantees and waivers.

Speaking at a function for the President’s Associates Club in St Mary’s Village, Moruga, on Sunday, Bassarath did not mince words in demanding the ouster of Ramnarine, who is the ex-president of the West Indies Players Association.

The local cricket chief said that it was a clear conflict of interest and a flagrant breach of the established principles of good governance for Ramnarine to offer any advice to the Minister on the bid process.

“The moral and ethical decision for Ramnarine was to have recused himself and not take part in the process. He should have left it to others in the Sports Company to advise on the merits and demerits of the TTCB’s bid to host matches in the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup,” said Bassarath.

The local cricket chief based his call on two points. Bassarath said Ramnarine is a board member of the TTCB by virtue of his position as a National League Representative.

Bassarath said The Sports Company chairman is also the principal claimant in the High Court action against the TTCB seeking to overturn the organisation’s governance structure.

Bassarath also charged that there was the strong possibility that the Minister was ill-advised on the due diligence related to the TTCB bid process. This precipitated the initial hesitation of the Government to offer its backing and bring the world’s leading women cricketers to TT.

The West Indies are the defending ICC T20 Women’s World Cup Champions and several TT cricketers are likely to play a key role if the regional side is to make history and repeat their feat of a year and a half ago in India.

Bassarath said contrary to what Minister Smith was advised, the TTCB bid process was forwarded for Government’s consideration long before the CWI deadline of December 8.

It would cost in the region of TT $500,000 per package in addition to specific assurances and waiver of certain taxes. TTCB even agreed to have the sum deducted from its annual Governmental subvention from the Sports Company; payment method of this to CWI could also have been negotiated.

Bassarath said in a meeting of stakeholders held at the Queen’s Park Oval, there was unanimous agreement on the TTCB’s proposal to bid which cogently outlined the massive return on the relatively small investment.

After the Government made the decision not to bid to host matches, it explained that they would not bid because of the downturn of the economy. Yesterday calls to Ramnarine proved futile.

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