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Monday 25 March 2019
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TTCB want meeting with Sports Minister

Following NGC’s audit of its sponsorship

TTCB president Azim Bassarath, left, chats with vice president Dr Allen Sammy at a press conference last week at the National Cricket Centre, Balmain, Couva.
TTCB president Azim Bassarath, left, chats with vice president Dr Allen Sammy at a press conference last week at the National Cricket Centre, Balmain, Couva.

AN executive member of the TT Cricket Board (TTCB) has said the board wants to meet Minister of Sports Shamfa Cudjoe in an effort to clear its name of any controversy.

A financial audit by former TTCB sponsor the National Gas Company has shown that 24 per cent of its funds to the local cricket body was not spent according to stipulation.

The audit showed that between 2014 and 2016, $2,983,000 was spent without approval by the TTCB and not in accordance with the memorandum of understanding (MOU).

National League representative Daren Ganga, who has been questioning the running of the TTCB for years, brought the situation into the public domain. Since then, there have been calls for the entire TTCB executive to resign.

In a letter to the media on Saturday, Kiswah Chaitoo, a National League Club representative with Barrackpore-based team Yorkshire Cricket Club, wrote, “As a matter of ethics, integrity, accountability and good governance, it is my strong view that the entire executive (should) resign immediately.”

On Wednesday, at a press conference at the National Cricket Centre, Couva, addressing the issue, Bassarath said, “It is be noted that all of the NGC funding was spent on line items within the scope of the agreement.”

He added, “I wish to state categorically here this morning that every cent invested in the game of cricket can be accounted for, and was put to use as stipulated in the MOU between the TTCB and the National Gas Company.”

Bassarath continued, “As it relates to the action taken by a board member it must be noted to date the TTCB still does not possess or has never seen a copy of this private and confidential internal NGC report consequently the TTCB is not in a position to comment on or respond to his claims as the alleged report cannot be verified as true and correct.”

NGC president Mark Loquan, in a letter to Ganga’s lawyers, said however “the initial findings of the report were duly communicated to the TTCB by NGC.”

An executive member of the TTCB, who wished to remain anonymous, said yesterday the TTCB’s hands are clean.

“Our lawyers said ‘you have nothing to hide.’

“We have already written seeking an audience with the minister because more than anybody else we need to reassure the minister that we have been doing the right thing,” the source said.

The TTCB member said the situation is affecting his life, but he will continue to work with the cricket board.

“I can’t sleep, and for what? Nothing. I am doing this thing voluntarily for the good of cricket. I am not going to leave, because I did not do anything wrong, because the first thing they will say that you are running now.

“I am damned if I do and I am damned if I don’t.”

The anonymous source is questioning why the audit is now being raised so long after it was completed. He said Ganga is trying everything in his power to get rid of the current administration.

The source said if NGC had a problem with the audit, the company would not have waited almost a year and a half. The audit was done in March 2017.

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