JUST 24 hours before today’s TT Cricket Board elections, former West Indies spinner Dinanath Ramnarine decided to oppose current TTCB president Azim Bassarath. Ramnarine, a wily leg-spinner during his heyday, said Bassarath must be opposed based on principle and values.
The elections will be held at the TTCB office at the National Cricket Centre in Couva, from 6 pm. Newsday was informed yesterday that no other positions might be contested. Ramnarine and ex-Red Force captain Daren Ganga have been questioning the running of the TTCB – including its constitution – for years. But over the last few days, it seemed Bassarath would go unopposed at the elections.
In an e-mail to the media yesterday, Ramnarine threw his hat into the ring. He said, “During the last few days I have been approached by National League representatives and members of the North, South and South West zonal councils and asked to contest the position of president of the TT Cricket Board.”
Ramnarine said recent allegations facing the TTCB led to people asking him to contest the elections. “I have previously stated that I would not participate in any TTCB-related election unless significant changes were made to the governance of the organization.
“In this regard, my focus with the help of others, has been to explore different avenues to transform and modernize the governance structures within the TTCB. Furthermore, I have always declared that I would support anyone who has similar objectives. I believe this latest series of requests to contest the election is the result of recent allegations against the incumbent president and the members of the TTCB executive.”
The e-mail also said, “While we have complained generally about a lack of transparency, accountability and inadequate governance practices, the recently published PWC (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) and NGC (National Gas Company) audits, which allege serious misconduct on the part of the incumbents, have spurred national league and zonal representatives to press for change that could restore some level of credibility and integrity to the TTCB and the sport of cricket in this country.”
Ramnarine said the current governance structure will make it difficult to defeat the current president. “After due consideration, I have accepted the invitation to contest the position knowing fully well that the odds of succeeding under the very undemocratic governance structure that we are fighting to change will be difficult, if not impossible.
“But as my fellow board members and I agree, it would be weak and irresponsible for those of us who stand for change not to challenge the incumbent and all that they represent. We cannot allow all that is wrong to triumph by default and we must provide an electoral option for those who wish to transform the TTCB into an organization that is accountable, democratic and transparent. History must not record us as absent when the count is taken.”
The former TT and West Indies leg spinner is hopeful that some people will change their minds at the last minute.
“While the odds may be against us, we do not rule out the possibility that members might yet find the courage to stand up against the entrenched constitutional tyranny that is designed to protect the status quo in perpetuity. The representatives believe that members need to be faced with the stark choice of either voting for change of a tainted or against it.”
The TTCB incumbent currently enjoys 12 outgoing votes according to the constitution.