HELP has been pouring in for Alescon Comets curator Basil Shewram.
Since his job became redundant when sporting facilities were shut down on March 15 and the nation’s border seven days later because of the global pandemic, the 54-year old Guyanese groundsman was hopeful the 2020 cricket season would resume in due course.
With no income and the devastating May 13 cancellation of the remainder of the season, Shewram was financially stumped and unable to send money home to support his family.
Since mid-March, the veteran cricket custodian has been doing odd jobs to stay financially afloat.
But since his predicament was written about in a Newday story of June 2, he has had offers of help and even two temporary job opportunities.
Over the past month, he has been doing odd jobs with the father of a national team player, and hopes to make good use of the new employment offers to improve his situation.
Shewram begins one of his new jobs on Monday.
But, he said, “I will continue working with the cricketer’s father. He is very understanding and is allowing me to also work a couple days with someone else to help out my situation.
“I also received some financial assistance from Sital Fabricating and Construction Ltd, to whom I am eternally grateful.
“Now I’ll be working six days per week and will resume sending money back home to my family.”
Shewram is living in the Comets’ club storeroom under the pavilion at Pierre Road Ground, Charlieville, where he usually stays when working in TT. He arrives just before the cricket season starts in January and usually returns home at the end, in June.
Shewram worked for the club until March 20 and was paid in full. He anticipated that cricket would restart, and also opted to stay to find an apartment for his son, Shawn, who will come to Trinidad in September to go to law school.
Shewram is also getting help from a fellow countryman who lives in TT. “A Guyanese man living here also contacted me and offered to pay my son’s apartment fees from September to December.
“This is so much more than I expected and I’m really grateful for everything.”
But he added, “When the border reopen, I will head home because I do not want to overstay my time in TT.”
Shewram has been Alescon Comets’ groundsman for the past 12 years.
When his story was published on Tuesday, he received mixed reactions. He said it was never his intention to cast a negative light on anyone, especially the club. He remains optimistic of a return to his usual job when the 2021 season bowls off in January, covid19 permitting.
“I’m hoping the club renews my services for the next year and I hope they take me back.
“I’m unsure right now. That’s what I’m hearing people saying.
“But I’ll get through with something, somehow. When one door closes another will open for me.”
Newsday contacted a club official by WhatsApp on Thursday to ask about Shewram’s job security. The official responded, “We have not even discussed anything as such. No one from the club has spoken about this.” Anyone willing to assist can contact Shewram at 398-3408.