The Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) yesterday announced a three-year agreement with the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago that will bring the local cricket organisation over $13 million to facilitate its tournaments, development programmes and financial support to national teams at various levels.
The $13 million deal for the period 2014 to 2016 represents nearly a 33-and-a-third increase over the contribution NGC made for 2011-2013 ($9.779 million).
NGC will again be title sponsors of the Premiership T20 Festival and Premiership 50 Over final, while the rest of the funds will go towards preparation for teams from Under-13 level through to and men’s and women’s senior teams ; the TTCB Grassroots Development Programme; officials and referee training programmes; youth development and funding for the Trinidad and Tobago Women’s Cricket Association.
NGC’s vice-president, human and corporate relations, Cassandra Patrovani-Sylvester said her company was “excited and gratified to have been associated with the Red Force during its outstanding success as three-time champions at the Caribbean T 20.”
Because of T&T’s nonparticipation in the Champions League T20 this year, the TTCB has proposed a reallocation of those funds towards other areas and the inclusion of new areas of support. One such area is a subvention for the T&TCB’s 142 clubs in seven zones in Trinidad and the 12 clubs in Tobago, a subvention that will cover their activities and expenses.
TTCB president Azim Bassarath was appreciative of the NGC contribution.
“This renewal (of the agreement) is a ringing endorsement of the work done and the milestones achieved by the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board during the last 36 months,” Bassarath said, adding that the TTCB had obviously met all the procedures for financial accountability and the objectives set from the 2011-2013 deal.”
Yesterday, chairman of selectors Alec Burns also announced a 14-man squad with three reserves for the Nagico Super 50 tournament that will be hosted in this country from January 30 to February 17.
The most notable omission was West Indies leg-spinner Samuel Badree, a national team regular in limited overs cricket.
Asked about Badree’s exclusion, Burns said: “We looked at the balance of the team and so on, and also the pitches in Trinidad which is where most of the matches will be played , are not playing like they did before. Traditionally, when you come to T&T , teams were accustomed to the ball turning . That is not the case. The pitches are a bit more green this time around and so we opted for the extra seamer.”
The squad will be led by West Indies One-day International captain Dwayne Bravo and will include his brother Darren who returned home early from the West Indies’ New Zealand, citing personal reasons.
Other players with West Indies experience in the squad include Lendl Simmons, Adrian Barath--recently interned at the Sagicor High Performance Centre--former national captain Denesh Ramdin, pacers Ravi Rampaul and Shannon Gabriel and off-spinner Sunil Narine, who will miss the first game of the tournament because of duties in the South African T20 domestic tournament, the Slam Bang.
PowerGen left hander Evin Lewis and Jason Mohammed are also in the squad.
All rounder Rayad Emrit, who sustained a shoulder injury in the semi-finals of the Champions League in India last year, is also in the squad.
About the decision to give Bravo the captaincy ahead of Ramdin, Burns said :”With all due respect to Ramdin, we wanted to give him an opportunity to focus on his batting.”
T&T squad for the Nagico Super 50:
Dwayne Bravo (Captain), Adrian Barath, Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Jason Mohammed, Denesh Ramdin, Rayad Emrit, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Imran Khan, Yannick Ottley, Shannon Gabriel and Kevon Cooper. (Reserves) Derone Davis, Yannic Cariah, Marlon Richards.
Coach: Kelvin Williams
Manager - Manohar Ramsaran