PRESIDENT of the TT Cricket Board (TTCB), Azim Bassarath brushed aside allegations made by former nominated member Zaheer Ali that its January 2019 executive election may have been “unlawful and subject to litigation.”
In a media statement, Ali claimed the election of officers and executive members is required by Article 7.02 of the TTCB Constitution to be held at the annual general meeting (AGM) in October.
At the 2016 AGM (to conclude the 2013-2016 term), the election for the following three-year period was put on hold pending judicial review of a matter involving the national league representatives and the TTCB.
The executive at that time continued in office until the legal matter was resolved in December 2018. A special meeting was then held on January 16, 2019, when, according to Bassarath, the election was held with all members present.
Ali, however, believes otherwise: “The election of officers and executive members on the 16th January, 2019 did no more than properly constitute the AGM of October, 2016 with the elected officers and executive members to hold office for the remainder of the 2016-2019 period. According to my recollection and the minutes of the Special Meeting...there was no resolution/decision among the members of the TTCB regarding the extension of office for the elected officers and executive members beyond the 2016-2019 term.”
Bassarath slammed Ali for his accusations and said the election was in accordance to the TTCB’s constitution. He believes if another election were to be held before year’s end, it would be deemed unconstitutional and unfair to the recently appointed executive, which has only served ten months of its term.
“Zaheer Ali needs to stop being a cry-cry baby and get over the tabanca that no one nominated him on the day for election,” a vociferous Bassarath said, while watching the Regional Super50 match between West Indies Emerging Players and Windward Islands at the Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba, yesterday. “The meeting took place, the election was held and officers and executive members were elected. “There is absolutely no truth to what Mr Ali is alleging, and the current board still has over two years to serve cricket to the best of its ability.” Ali also believes the board’s reappointment denies the newly elected members of the TTCB (emerging from the zonal and national league representative elections, which were held in August and September, 2019 respectively) the chance to participate in a democratic process to elect members for 2019-2022.
“The newly elected members on the TTCB were also denied the right and opportunity to put themselves up for appointment as officers and executive members of the TTCB Article 5.01 of the TTCB Constitution. The omission to have the TTCB elections denies the right and opportunity to interested members of the pubic to contest the TTCB elections for the appointment as an officer of the TTCB Article 4.01 of the TTCB Constitution,” Ali added.
In response, Bassarath asked Ali to discontinue his criticisms and accept that the board is moving forward positively. He believes Ali has an ulterior motive and is still bitter that he was not nominated for the election.
“It’s sad to see a big man behave in this manner,” Bassarath added. “The Super50 is already under way and I won’t waste any time on minor issues such as this and these weak allegations.
“The board is here to serve the national cricket community and we will not be sidetracked by anyone intent on stirring up menial (sic) matters.”