Saturday, February 24, 2018


Griffith, Anil clash as T&T name returned to CPL cricket team


Sport Minister Anil Roberts

Mark Fraser

The Trinidad and Tobago name has rejoined the Red Steel, with thanks to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. 

The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and Minister of National Security Gary Griffith said yesterday the Prime Minister and the Gov­ernment had to be thanked for returning the Trinidad and Tobago name to the Red Steel franchise.

Roberts argued only Cab­inet could make a decision like this while Griffith insisted Cabinet had no decision to make on the Red Steel name issue.

The CPL announcement seemed to lead to tension yesterday between Griffith and Sport Minister Anil Roberts over who should decide if the T&T name should return to the Red Steel franchise.

CPL thanked Persad-Bissessar and the Government for helping to resolve the issue.

The T&T name was dropped from the Red Steel franchise after discussions between the CPL and Roberts recently. 

The issue became public when Red Steel skipper Dwayne Bravo voiced his concerns about the change after his team’s first match against the Barbados Tridents in Gre­nada earlier this month.

There was a turnaround yesterday, via two CPL news releases.

The first one announced the CPL “was pleased that the matter regarding the naming of the Red Steel franchise has been resolved and that the team will once again proudly bear the name of Tri­nidad and Tobago Red Steel”.

The release also stated the CPL “would particularly like to thank (National Security) Minister Gary Griffith for his timely intervention in this matter and for his support in bringing it to a positive conclusion”.

Contacted by the Express yesterday, Griffith said there would be an “amendment” to the CPL statement.

Asked if he had anything to do with the name change, Griffith said: “That is the Prime Minister and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago.”

That second statement quo­ted CPL chief executive Damien O’Don­ohoe, who extended “sincerest thanks to the honourable Prime Min­ister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, and her Government for their ongoing support for CPL and, in particular, her help in restoring the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel name to the franchise”.

He continued: “We are absolute­ly thrilled that the Red Steel will once again proudly bear the name of Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel, and with three home games this week, we are in no doubt that this news will give captain Dwayne Bravo and his team an extra boost in their efforts to take home the title of CPL Champions 2014.”

But asked about the turn of events yesterday, Roberts, at a news conference at his ministry in Port of  , said: “A press release was sent out by CPL (yesterday) stating that the Red Steel will retain T&T’s name, with the help from the Minister of National Security.

Let me state that for this period here, I am the Minister of Sport for the Republic of Trinidad and Toba­go and I had no decision to make. The facts are there—the Red Steel cannot be called Trinidad and Toba­go. It is not a national team. The position has not changed.”

Roberts added: “I have just seen something from the CPL...I can tell you, the only person or persons who can overturn history, who can overturn the convention of national teams and national sport...the only group of people who can do that at any one point in time is the Cabinet of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, led by the honourable Prime Minister, who at this time is the hon­ourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar, and include the Attorney General and the other Cabinet ministers. 

They are the only persons who can overturn or change the prece­dence with the utilisation of the name Trinidad and Tobago.”

Roberts said: “You can ask Gary Griffith what he said, who he spoke to, on whose authority, because Cabinet has not met since last week Thursday, and in Cabinet last week Thursday, there was no discussion and no decision to overturn anything.” 

 PM: Issues to be vented at Cabinet 

Question to PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar by text: Your Minister of Sport attacked your Minister of National Security at a press conference today. Are you aware? Are you going to deal with it?

Response: “Not aware thus far but should there be a disagreement amongst ministers same would be discussed at Cabinet on Thursday which is the appropriate forum for ventilating same.”