THE ELECTION bell has been rung for the TT Cricket Board (TTCB) as zones and affiliates have been put on notice for the election of officers on October 31.
At a board meeting last Saturday to ratify amendments to the TTCB constitution, its president Azim Bassarath announced that he will be standing for another term in office.
A TTCB media release said “strong support has been expressed for his bid to head the national sports organisation from two zonal councils.”
The Central and South East zones have stated their support for Bassarath.
If elected, Bassarath will, for the first time, serve a four-year term which was one of the amendments made to the constitution, and unanimously approved by the TTCB Board last weekend.
Chairman of the Central zone Anderson Ramdath said that Bassarath has proven that he deserves to be at the helm with his strong leadership demonstrated over the past year and a half when the sport was seriously affected by the covid19 pandemic.
Ramdath said that under the guidance of Bassarath and his executive, cricket continued to flourish at the highest levels as the national team played unbeaten to win the CG Insurance Super50 regional tournament earlier this year.
Ramdath said that when all sports were halted by covid19 in 2020, the TT Red Force were nicely poised in second place in the regional four-day tournament.
“There is no doubt that despite the challenges of the pandemic and the scarcity of funds, Mr Bassarath has been able to chart a course where the TTCB is in a position to hit the ground running whenever the Public Health Regulations on group sports are lifted,” Ramdath said.
He said following up on the Super50 Cup success in Antigua and Barbuda, and the restrictions on sports activities, the TTCB under Bassarath was able to ensure that the national Under-19 players were afforded the best opportunity to bid for regional selection.
“We were able to have 16 Under-19 players called for the Cricket West Indies training camp in Antigua in August as the region prepares to host the ICC Under-19 World Cup at the beginning of next year,” said Ramdath.
The Central zone official also highlighted the naming of hard-hitting all-rounder Kieron Pollard as captain of the West Indies white-ball team and who will lead the regional side in its defence of the T20 World Cup title in the United Arab Emirates and Oman starting next week.
Ramdath said following the CG Super50 Cup regional win it was clear that the training programme put in place by the TTCB under Bassarath, and an aggressive campaign to raise sponsorship for the team from Government and the private sector were key to the team’s success.
Also chiming in with its backing of Bassarath was South East zone chairman Kelvin Mohammed who said the track record of the incumbent president is deserving of another term at the helm.
Mohammed said that while covid19 protocols brought most other sports organisations to its knees, Bassarath was committed to having his executive work twice as hard during the past 18 months.
“His commitment and dedication to keeping cricket alive drove his executive to greater levels of performance in a time of the game’s biggest challenge on and off the field,” said Mohammed.
He also highlighted the securing of valuable sponsorship for the Under-23s, a first in the Caribbean; and for the Under-15s, and Under-13s from Scotiabank.
Mohammed also said that under Bassarath, North-South rivalry was sustained at the Under-19, Under-17, Under-15 and Under-13 levels with sponsorship for zonal and inter-zone competitions, from the Price Club Supermarket.
Mohammed said that covid19 threw a major spanner in the works on the TTCB last March but under Bassarath, planning went unhindered for when the restrictions on sport are removed.
“We are confident that when sports are normalised, cricket will be well-placed to take off because of the groundwork laid during the pandemic by the astute and courageous leadership of Mr Bassarath,” said Mohammed.