TT Cricket Board (TTCB) member Manohar Ramsaran believes the TTCB executive should have been more proactive in raising funds and seeking sponsorship over the last few years saying cricket is in “real trouble.”
The covid19 pandemic has affected cricket operations since March 2020, not only in TT, but around the world.
Ramsaran, a former Minister of Sport, believes the TTCB is depending heavily on the Government.
“If somebody don’t save cricket now it will never be saved. Cricket in real trouble and the cricket board, the president (Azim Bassarath) especially, he used the covid19 problem to affect cricket. Nothing happened in cricket for the last one and a half years,” Ramsaran said on Sunday.
“Everything just remain so and everything you talk about (the board says) the Government say so. We as a public institution should not wait on the Government to tell us what to do.
“We should be pushing our agenda. Not to play cricket only, (but) we have not raised a cent.”
Ramsaran said the TTCB must utilise resources to earn money. For example, he suggested the National Cricket Centre, in Couva, be rented more regularly for functions and other activities.
Ramsaran said he feels to throw in the towel. “I decide to call it quits because for the last six years when I have been on (the) board I have been crying my head out. We should have our own fund raising events.”
Ramsaran said too many excuses are made, saying one executive member would say, “The Government did not give any money, WICB owing we money.
“We have no money except when Government gives us their little hand outs through Sports Company and Ministry of Sport…that has been really slow in coming and we have to understand that the Government is in crisis.”
The former Sport Minister believes corporate TT is interested in supporting cricket, but believes the TTCB does not have enough weight in the market.
“I know the private sector wants to support us, but like the cricket board has no authority, no strength to go and talk to them.”
In a brief interview on Tuesday Bassarath told Newsday that Ramsaran was a member of the executive and had an opportunity to raise those issues.
“Manohar was a member of the executive…at no meeting did he ever raise that issue of fund raising,” Bassarath said.
Bassarath, who has been president of the TTCB since 2009, is seeking another term in office at the TTCB elections on October 30. It is uncertain at this time who will go up against him.
The TTCB has received sponsorship in recent years. The National Gas Company of TT was a long time sponsor of local cricket, but the relationship turned sour in 2018.
After being re-elected in January 2019, Bassarath called on sponsors to come forward.
At the time he said, “Corporate sponsors and the business community, who are friends of the game, must return and make their contributions to national development through the investment in our youth cricketers. Each one of us must act responsibly and provide the testimony that is required for the success of the campaign to rescue this sport.”
Price Club Supermarket, Bmobile and Courts are among the companies to sponsor local cricket since Bassarath’s plea in January, 2019.