T&T to get more $$ for Champions League prep
The Trinidad and Tobago Government has promised an extra TT$5 million to assist the national cricket team in its preparation for the Champions League T20 tournament in South Africa next month.
Sports Minister Anil Roberts made the promise after the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) failed to secure the services of three of the country's star players contracted to IPL teams.
Kieron Pollard, 25, will play for the Mumbai Indians, Dwayne Bravo, 28 for the Chennai Super Kings and Sunil Narine, 24, will suit up for the champions Kolkata Knight Riders after talks between the IPL and Minister Roberts down.
"The Trinidad and Tobago senior cricket team has been promised an additional $5 million in funding to adequately prepare for the upcoming champions league T20 tournament which will be staged in South Africa next month" a release from the TTCB stated.
"This pledged comes from Minister of Sports Anil Roberts on behalf of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago which is committed to have the cricketers in the best shape possible for the Champions League 2012 T20 campaign. Roberts will also place on the cards valuable incentives for the team to win the competition" the statement said.
The Government's promise comes after another faile attempt to secure the services of IPL-contracted players.
Trinidad and Tobago debuted as finalists in the inaugural champions league in 2009.
However, last year, the team was without Pollard and Bravo and did not get beyond the main draw after having to play a qualifying tournament to gain entry.
The unavailability of the duo raised serious concerns and Minister Roberts had pledged he would do all in his power to sensure that Bravo and Pollard, along with Narine would make themselves available to play in the 2012 edition.
However the T&TCB release on said it was, "completely satisfied that Minister Roberts has done all he can to have the players committed to national duty but unfortunately their choice will see them on the opposing end at the 2012 CL T20."
T&T will begin their campaign in the Champions League with a qualifying match against English county T20 runners-up Yorkshire on October 10.