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Sunday 19 August 2018
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Tobago says no to IRC report

TTCB president Azim Bassarath

The Tobago Cricket Aassociation (TCA) has expressed its reservations with the controversial IRC (Independent Review Committee) report which has split cricket's stakeholders down the middle.

The report is yet to be offciially debated by Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) members, with some unhappy with some of its recommendations while others are clamouring for its immediate implementation.

According to one official from the TCA, “I wouldn’t go as far as to just dismiss the report in its entirety but the problem in our view is that it takes away all authority from the Tobago Cricket Association which we have (fought) to get over the years.”

The official added, “I don’t understand how it is that the IRC members would have had consultations throughout Trinidad and Tobago and it seems like everything that is there in the recommendations are only the views of one set of people. I’m very disappointed in that light. We have taken a decision unanimously not to support that report as it is.”

Another TCA member pointed out, “Before the TT Cricket Board could even reach out to have discussions with affiliates etcetera, we have to fix our business first. We’re not getting a chance to do that because, every time we show up to a meeting it’s just an argument and a waste of time.”

Meanwhile, Surujdath Mahabir, president of the Secondary Schools Cricket League (SSCL), has called for a thorough change in the administration of Trinidad and Tobago cricket, as well as alterations to the IRCreport.

According to Mahabir, TTCB meetings have not been fruitful and have descended into verbal attacks between the incumbent regime and those trying to unseat them.

“So far, those meetings have turned to naught. It’s a set of bacchanal between (National League representative) Dinanath (Ramnarine) and (TTCB president Azim) Bassarath. People have been coming to meetings and been frustrated by the total bacchanal.”

He said only recently there was a verbal altercation after Wednesday’s TTCB quarterly meeting in the car park between two senior cricket officials.

“Trinidad and Tobago cricket is in a mess,” added Mahabir, the former TT off-spinner. “We really need to get together to sort it out. None of them are doing anything to sort it out. What we need is probably a new set of administrators and get rid of everybody else. Get a new bunch of people who really interested in the cricket and not the politics.”

The IRC report was compiled by a special committee comprising Justice Vasheist Kokaram, newspaper columnist Dr Sheila Rampersad and former TTCB president Ellis Lewis.

Asked if the SSCL is in favour of the report, Mahabir said, “Presently, in the format that it was presented, not at all. There are some things that we can pull out of it. We are prepared to sit down and discuss that.”

According to Mahabir, “Our problem with the report is what they suggested in terms of the executive to run the Cricket Board, secondary and primary schools have been completely left out. So, in theory, we have no say in cricket. We are totally against that.”

He continued, “We are also against one-club one-vote. We do not have clubs in Trinidad, we have teams who go and play on a weekend and they still have the rights as a properly-organised club. Things have to get in place before we could think about one-club one-vote.”

Mahabir said that the SSCL is an important facet of TT cricket. “We are the main provider of cricketers in Trinidad and Tobago,” he noted.


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