DINANATH Ramnarine, former TT and West Indies leg-spinner, is heartened by last Monday’s ruling from Justice Frank Seepersad, which ordered the TT Cricket Board (TTCB) to appoint a five-member committee to investigate issues and concerns raised in a National Gas Company (NGC) financial audit.
According to the audit, a portion of its sponsorship to the local governing body for cricket was spent without approval.
Ramnarine, in a media release issued, on Tuesday, said, “(The ruling) is an important development which augurs well for good governance and transparency in the administration of sports in TT.
“This landmark judgment has signalled to sporting administration that they are accountable for funding and sponsorship in general but, more specifically, for public funds entrusted to their organisations.”
TTCB president Azim Bassarath, in a Newsday report on January 28, acknowledged that his executive will not be appealing the judgment and will allow the court-ordered five-member committee to do its investigations.
Bassarath said there was a misconception by the then-TTCB’s chief executive officer (Suruj Ragoonath) in terms of the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) and how the money should be spent.
Ramnarine, in his media release, said, “I consider it important to highlight the significant role played by NGC and its current management headed by Mark Loquan, and trust that the approach adopted by NGC will serve as an example and a model to other companies that contribute funding and resources.
“The judgment is also an indictment on the members of the then TTCB executive who had full control of the contractual agreements with NGC and were dismissive about the clear breaches of governance and financial impropriety highlighted in the NGC audit of the TTCB.”
Ramnarine, the former president of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and chairman of the Sports Company of TT (SPORTT), took the TTCB to court, calling for an investigation into the NGC audit of its funding to the TTCB over the three-year period 2014 to 2016.
The NGC audit report found that, during the three-year period, 24 per cent of the funds advanced by the NGC to the TTCB ($2.98 million) were not spent in accordance with the MOU.