Azim Bassarath

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T&T cricketers to get specialist aid

By Roger Seepersad

Players to get mental help

Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) president Azim Bassarath thinks the national cricketers could benefit from some mental sessions to help lift their game ahead of the Regional Four-Day semi-final next month.

This comes after the national team, led by Denesh Ramdin was defeated by Barbados by ten wickets in two days at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain last week. T&T were dismissed for 109 and 129 in the game.

That loss came on the heels of a three-day defeat at the hands of defending champions Jamaica at Sabina Park when another batting collapse saw T&T slip to 121 all out in their first innings before recovering to post 192 in their second.

A similar slide was responsible to their season-opening three-day loss to the Windward Islands when they were dismissed for 84 in their second innings.

Bassarath says there is still time to turn things around and noted that the TTCB will be trying to get management specialist Anthony Watkins to do some sessions with the team before they leave for Jamaica to face the defending champions, in the four-day semi-final at Sabina Park early in May.

He said: “After losing to the Windwards, the guys bounced back to win three on the trot. They folded against Jamaica and Barbados and we are hoping they are going to regain their focus and concentrate for the semi-final against Jamaica.

“We have some time available and I am quite sure the players are aware that they must re-focus and come out in a fighting mood in the semi-final.

The TTCB boss also believes that T&T’s problem is mental and not a lack of skill.

Bassarath said: “Our players are extremely skilful, maybe even more skilful than the other players in the Caribbean but it is evident that they are not putting out their best.

“We are hoping to engage the players in some type of psychological session. We have engaged Anthony Watkins to do some work with the team. I know there are some discussions going on with the CEO of the board and Anthony Watkins so we are hoping in that week, we are going to have at least one or two sessions with him and the national team.”

“With that week that is available to us, something will happen for the improvement of the Trinidad and Tobago cricket team,” Bassarath added.

TTCB CEO Suruj Ragoonath said that some of what Watkins will be discussing with the team includes team development, teamwork, team-building as well as other topics.

While Bassarath agreed with the comments by team manager Omar Khan that T&T’s performance was poor against the Bajans, the TTCB president insisted that he and the TTCB are still behind the players 100 per cent.

He said: “They are still in line to win the three regional tournaments this season. We still have a chance of winning the Super50 and the four-day tournament.

“They (the T&T players) are aware of it and they have that in their minds so I want to take the opportunity to wish the players all the best going into the 50-over semi-final on Thursday against the Combined Campuses and Colleges in Barbados and also into the final.

“The Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board are firmly behind the players and I am quite sure the national community is fully supportive of the team as well.”

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