CONFIDENCE and trust in the TT Cricket Board (TTCB) have not been irreparably affected which is evidenced by a fresh new injection of sponsorship funds which has facilitated the uninterrupted delivery of key development programmes to the nation's young cricketers.
The recent success in sourcing corporate funds is being attributed to the great work of former national cricketer Rajendra Mangalie, chairman of the TTCB's marketing and sponsorship committee.
Since being asked to serve in this important capacity by TTCB president Azim Bassarath late last year, Mangalie, an established Central Trinidad businessman has helped attract much-needed significant financial contributions from the business community.
He said that he is not surprised by the willingness of corporate TT to form partnerships with the national sports organisation which he described as crucial to keeping cricket activities ongoing, and realise the dreams of young people with an eye on making a career in the sport.
Mangalie, an opening batsman who played for the national team under West Indies and TT batting legend Brian Lara, said that there is no doubt in his mind that without finance, the TTCB will be hard-pressed to identify and nurture national cricketers.
So he said he had no hesitation in coming on board when approached to serve as he felt he was in a unique position to tap into his circle of fellow businessfolk who he found was more than willing to contribute to national development.
Mangalie said that his committee has so far been able in quick time to source funding for the Namalco Pavers Under-23 Inter-Zone Tournament which was hugely successful, and the revival of the Koyash Enterprises Limited North-South Classic.
Both events capped an eventful year for the TTCB, which had been previously stymied by serious external challenges to its administrative functions including a High Court matter brought against it.
And only last week, Scotiabank announced their sponsorship of the TTCB's 2020 Under-15 and Under-13 NextGen Inter Zone Tournaments, which as the name suggests, provide a platform for the next generation of youngsters to show their talent.
Mangalie, who still plays competitive cricket, is particularly pleased at the outcome of the Under-23 competition which he identified as a group of players who unfortunately were previously not catered for in the development program.
"This gap has now been bridged and adds to the local talent pool," Mangalie said.
He expressed satisfaction on learning from TTCB president Bassarath that at a Cricket West Indies meeting in Barbados while the Under-23 matches were in progress, regional directors were glued to their mobile devices watching the TT cricketers in action on a live-stream feed.
It is also understood that CWI has expressed an interest to Bassarath in staging a regional Under-23 competition later this year which will more than likely be hosted by the TTCB.
Mangalie's committee is also optimistic of getting the support of the corporate friends of cricket at a gala fund-raising dinner at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain during the visit to Trinidad by the touring South African cricket team.
Also among the initiatives at the top of the list of events planned by Mangalie and his committee is an Over-40 regional tournament which normally attracts former leading West Indies cricketers. It will be staged in TT for the first time in October.