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Lequay hailed as T&T cricket visionary
Long-serving cricket administrator Alloy Lequay was yesterday described as a visionary who led a revolution in local cricket administration and who laid the foundation of T&T’s current cricket domination not only regionally but on the international stage.
Occasion was a formal dedication ceremony by the T&TCB and the unveiling of a plaque for the Alloy Lequay Administrative Centre at Balmain in Couva.
The event was attended by a glittering collection of former and current outstanding cricket administrators, executive and staff members of the T&TCB, friends and wellwishers.
President of the T&TCB Azim Bassarath described Lequay as a “living legend” and traced his involvement in local cricket administration starting in 1944 with the Oxford Club in San Fernando.
In glowing terms Bassarath chronicled Lequay’s distinguished career in the national spotlight serving not only in cricket but also table tennis and politics. “He epitomised the adage which says service to humanity is service to God,” said Bassarath.
The T&TCB leader also gave public recognition to the founders of the Trinidad Cricket Council in 1956, the forerunner of the T&TCB and made special mention of Sir Learie Constantine, Sir Errol Dos Santos and William Max Marshall.
Bassarath said Lequay worked with the first TCC administration along with Alan Ramoutar and Sonny Murray and later headed the T&TCB which was borne out of a long and hard struggle to gain the right to govern local cricket.
“We are here to offer our sincere thanks and gratitude for your unparalleled contribution to the administration and development of cricket in T&T,” said Bassarath.
He said as present custodians of the game the T&TCB executive would do everything in their power to preserve the integrity and independence of the organisation.
“We recognise the strength of the structure the past members have created and we pledge to build on your proven foundation and stretch ourselves to whatever limits to grow our sport, players and administrators,” Bassarath said.
In an indepth historical perspective of Lequay’s contribution to the national game Ellis Lewis, who succeeded the guest of honour as president of the T&TCB in 2005 described as “revolutionary” the effort to set up the T&TCB as a national organisation against the best wishes of Queen’s Park Cricket Club.
Lewis said in 1980 Lequay ushered a fundamental change in cricket administration and management at a time when it was felt that an organisation based in central Trinidad could not match up to the standard of Queen’s Park, who had controlled the local game for more than eight decades.
Lewis said it was Lequay’s vision to acquire 17 acres of land in Balmain for a National Cricket Centre, an impressive facility which now comprises the Alloy Lequay Administrative Centre, the Sir Frank Worrell Development Centre and an international size playing field.
“There was nothing insidious about making cricket more inclusive and spreading the game to every village in T&T. Lequay at the time sought to allay the fears of his detractors by meeting regularly with the Queen’s Park officials,” said Lewis.
Lewis said it was a fitting tribute to dedicate the building in Lequay’s name describing him as a reluctant revolutionary who believed change was necessary for growth and development.
In response Lequay spoke on integrity, stability and accountability which he said were the pillars on which the T&TCB was built stating that the organisation’s watchwords were adopted some 33 years ago.
“I remain convinced that we can lay claim to be the best organised and democratic sports organization in T&T. This image has been achieved because sports fans and the national community generally accept that the pillar of integrity was built on solid ground,” said Lequay.
He said the successorship and leadership of the T&TCB did not depart from its moorings and that moral rectitude stood firm amidst the trials and tribulations in a changing environment.
He challenged the officers, members and staff of the T&TCB to expand their capabilities beyond the boundary to “where Roach meets Ramadin.”
“The entire National Cricket Centre in its present and expansive state must be associated with excellence,” Lequay said. In closing he thanked all those who have added to his cricket legacy and his latest distinguished honour.
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