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South West zone challenges ‘Zonal Regulations’

By Mark Pouchet

The South West Zone Council of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) is challenging the current Azim Bassarath-led TTCB for its attempt to introduce a completely new document that it claims is inconsistent with the Board’s constitution. The South West Zone says the document was first seen on the day of the club elections on September 3, 2013, in which Bassarath’s slate lost six to nothing in that zone. 

Several calls to members of the executive went unanswered, and one message left with an unidentified person answering TTCB president Bassarath’s phone was not returned.

The South West Zone has written to the TTCB through their attorney Gerald Ramdeen, questioning the document referred to as the “TTCB Zonal Regulations”, which was never circulated or tabled  for consideration by the TTCB’s 48-member board when the local cricket organisation amended its eighth and  latest edition of the constitution, approved on July 1, 2013. 

Other members of the TTCB have also said the Zonal Regulations document was never tabled at any of the TTCB’s special general meetings for comment or consent. The South West Zone says that the effects of the Zonal Regulations will contradict the TTCB constitution in the timing of the convening of Zonal AGMs. 

In a pre-action protocol letter, Ramdeen referred to Article 8.02 of the TTCB Constitution, which outlines who are the particular eligible voting members of the zone--including six representatives of the clubs, two from each affiliated League/Association etc that totals 16 votes--that can elect members of the Zonal Council.  

The South West Zone, however, drew attention to article 6.0 (b) of the Zonal Regulations, which grants outgoing officers the right to vote. This is not stipulated in the constitution, and would increase the number of votes to 20, and make it difficult for the incumbents to be deposed.

 “This is a gross perversion of the said constitution, which effectively usurps the democratic framework of the election process. It welcomes a dangerous prejudice which favours the re-election of the incumbent officers of the Zonal Council,” the South West Zone wrote. 

Ramdeen also gave the example of Article 10.01 of the TTCB Constitution, which states that the AGM of each zone must be held no later than September 30 each year. But Article 5.2 of the Zonal Regulations says that if a zone fails to hold an AGM by that date, the executive of the TTCB is empowered to fix a date for and call such an AGM before November 30. Article 5.2 also states that in such an event, the Zone shall have no representation at the AGM of the TTCB executive elections, which is scheduled for October 26. 

The South West Zone, through their attorney, claims such a provision gives the incumbent the opportunity to determine whether or not the elected representatives can come to the TTCB AGM to vote or not.

Former general secretary and ex-CEO of the TTCB Forbes Persaud said he was not aware of the document referred to as the “TTCB Zonal Regulations”,  while he was in office between the period 2005 to 2009.

Persaud said the present executives of the TTCB cannot introduce any new document that is inconsistent with the constitution.

“The TTCB’s constitution is supreme and cannot be tampered with for the benefit of anyone. It seems from all reports that the incumbents led by Mr Azim Bassarath are attempting to do everything and anything possible to remain in power. This is most unfortunate, since it is clear that the cricketing fraternity is not pleased and want change.” 

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