I first met Derek Walcott, who died on March 20, in the late 1960s when we both worked as reporters at the Trinidad Guardian and the Trinidad Evening News in my native Trinidad.
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T&T Red Steel gets local owners
Uncertainty surrounding T&T’s Red Steel’s future in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) appears to be over following news yesterday that the T&T-based team has been able to attract an owner.
With just over two months to go before the 2014 edition, players have been greeted with the news that the franchise has an owner, after last year’s mobile company Lycamobile, gave up its rights following the inaugural year of the tournament.
A number of local businesses have bought advertising spots on the team and all seems rosy with the second year approaching. Last year, the Red Steel lost at the semifinal stage of the tournament to the Guyana Amazon Warriors who went on to lose the finals to Jamaica Tallawahs.
In February, the Guardian reported that Lycamobile had given up ownership of the team and it was indicated that the owners of the St Lucia Zouks were also out.
That left only one of the six teams with an owner and that was the Guyana Amazon Warriors, who is owned by Dr Ramjisingh Ramroop.
Uncertainty surrounded the team despite the fact that it was involved in the draft for players earlier this month in Jamaica.
When T&T Guardian spoke to one of the advertisers recently they said that they had been approached by officials from CPL about coming on board and after showing an interest they were never contacted again.
Now all that will be put to rest as CPL is expected to make public the sale of the franchise next week and from that point there will be a flurry of activity surrounding the team.
The 2014 season has already seen some teams cutting back on their expenses and those that don’t have owners will not even have a manager. A travelling liaison officer will take care of the needs of the team for the tournament.
Four teams in this year’s tournament still remains without an owner. They are the Jamaica Tallawahs, Antigua Hawksbills, St Lucia Zouks and the Barbados Tridents. CPL has been having talks with interested parties but the new season is closing in and over the next few weeks, they are expected to aggressively market the franchises.
The tournament gets off on July 11 with the opening ceremonies in Grenada and will close off on August 16 with the finals in St Kitts.
As soon as the official announcement of the sale of the Red Steel is made, owners of the team will fill the management posts and a preparation plan for the team will be drawn up.
Red Steel skipper Dwayne Bravo who is currently missing the Indian Premier League (IPL) through injury is expected to be available to give his input on preparations leading up to the tournament.