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Red Steel franchise not exclusive to T&T players

By \\\\\ Roger Seepersad

While the Red Steel skipper Dwayne Bravo voiced his disapproval of the decision to remove the Trinidad and Tobago brand from the name of the Caribbean Premier League Red Steel franchise, Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) executive member Baldath Mahabir and TTCB CEO Suruj Ragoonath both agreed with the move.

The Limacol Caribbean Premier League is a franchise-based Twenty20 cricket competition which began last year with the six competing teams carrying the names of the countries in which they are based.  

The teams are however made up of players from various Caribbean territories and further overseas. The second season of the League started in Grenada last Friday and Bravo, captain of the Red Steel, slammed the decision to remove the Trinidad and Tobago brand from the name. 

“I think whoever made that decision, it’s uncalled for. Ninety per cent of the team are from Trinidad and Tobago. We are using the national colours. All the other islands are proud to use their country name, whether it is the Barbados Tridents, the Jamaica Tallawahs, why not Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel?”

The LCPL confirmed to the Express by e-mail that the request for the removal of the Trinidad and Tobago name from the Red Steel franchise had come from the Minister of Sport Anil Roberts, who confirmed this, stating: “Trinidad and Tobago is exclusive for national teams of T&T.’’

“This CPL franchise (the Red Steel) is not a national team and does not consist of wholly and solely of citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, therefore they have no permission whatsoever to utilise the brand of Trinidad and Tobago which must be jealously guarded for citizens of Trinidad and Tobago,” stressed Roberts.

Meanwhile, Ragoonath supported the move to remove T&T from the name of the franchise and said it was something the TTCB also requested. “We had requested that this be done earlier,” he told the Express yesterday.

“We feel that the franchise do not really represent the national team so to speak, and Trinidad and Tobago is a sovereign country and the franchise is not owned by the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board but it is owned by a private entity so it is more appropriate given the fact that it is not really representing Trinidad and Tobago, but the franchise holder, that Trinidad and Tobago should not be on their name.”

“Maybe if it was the Port of Spain Red Steel that might be more appropriate. I think it is a good idea that it is not named after the country and I think this should obtain throughout the region and not only in Trinidad and Tobago,” Ragoonath added.

Mahabir also suggested that the franchises be named after the cities where they are based rather than the country. “In reality it is a franchise team and not a Trinidad and Tobago team. One might want to look at naming it after something Trinidadian or Tobagonian, some kind of derivative of the name or rather the city in which the franchise is based, like the Indian Premier League,” said Mahabir. 

“Something like the Port of Spain Red Steel which would be similar to what is used in the IPL like Chennai or Bangalore or Mumbai rather that to use the name of a country,” he added.

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