President of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) Azim Bassarath urged local cricket administrators to continue lifting their standards despite the recent successes of the national youth teams.
He made the call during an appreciation function for the national Under-17 and Under-15 teams that recently captured both regional youth titles.
The function was held at Sir Frank Worrell Development Centre in Balmain, Couva last week when outstanding members of the teams, as well as their technical staff were honoured and presented with trophies.
Also in attendance were leading TTCB officials Dudnath Ramkessoon, Arjoon Ramlal, Baldath Mahabir, Dr Allen Sammy, Patrick Rampersad and CEO Suruj Ragoonath.
Assisting in the distribution of prizes was BGTT communications and brand manager Wendell Constantine and Member of Parliament for Couva South, Rudranath Indarsingh.
Bassarath said the double-triumph represented a special day in the history of Trinidad and Tobago’s cricket.
“We are blessed by having in our presence two teams of regional champions.”
Bassarath said T&T are known for the consistently high quality performances of its T20 team, the Red Force, and even better known for having eight players on the 2012 World Cup-winning T20 team, as well as shining stars in franchise cricket around the world.
“We have kept our focus knowing full well that we must use the light of stardom that is upon our cricketers to show the way forward for the next generation.
“And, you regional winners are the next generation,” Bassarath stated.
“It is not an easy task to produce quality from the top all the way to the grassroots level. This needs an army of committed, dedicated competent and fair people,” he said, adding: “We need success from our players on all West Indies teams. Yes, T&T is doing well, but we want all regional teams to do well, to improve their standards and so collectively, we will once again rise to the top of world cricket,” he said.
Bassarath also noted that the TTCB will not be satisfied until there are sufficiently high quality coaches, manager, trainers, physiotherapists and other technically trained persons.
He added: “We will not be satisfied until we can improve and upgrade our facilities here at Balmain to world standard. Those are the goals we have set ourselves.”
Bassarath also revealed that the TTCB has been struggling to receive funding from the agency directly charged with providing financial assistance for National Sporting Organisations.
But he insisted: “This, though a major set-back, has merely slowed us, not stopped us from achieving.
“You, young men are testimony to that. This board has found the resources to allow you to develop your talents and display them to the world. We will attempt to stretch what we have maximise our personal inputs and always go the extra mile,” he said.