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Cricketer dismisses claim of ‘sexual abuse’
The young cricketer embroiled in the sexual abuse case against an official of the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB), has dismissed the claim.
This according to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the TTCB, Suruj Ragoonath, at a press conference at the TTCB’s headquarters in Balmain, Couva, yesterday.
Ragoonath, in his address to the media said that the executive of the TTCB, received the report of the two-man committee appointed to investigate the matter and in it, the player gave a statement that there was no case of sexual abuse.
Ragoonath said: “It is our intention to clarify the matter that was misrepresented and prematurely and recklessly placed in the public domain by some with personal interests but having total disregard for the reputation of the parties involved as well as their respective families.”
The former West Indies player went on to give the facts saying: “On the return of the national Under-19 team in late August from the WICB U-19 tournament which was held in St Vincent, Mr Kerwin John the manager of the national U-19 team tendered a letter of complaint to the TTCB which was submitted to him by a member of the national U-19 team alleging ‘improper conduct’ against a team official.
“On receiving the letter of complaint, the TTCB executive took a decision to immediately remove the team official from all duties and assignments in keeping with good governance and good administration but more importantly, in the interest of the sport and all stakeholders.
“The executive decision to remove the individual was communicated to him in keeping with natural justice and to allow due process to take its course.
“The TTCB executive also appointed a two-member committee comprising the TTCB president Azim Bassarath and second vice-president Lalman Kowlessar to conduct the initial enquiry to verify and confirm that the letter of complaint was legitimate and to gather and illicit other pertinent information in order to determine the appropriate course of action.”
Ragoonath reported that the findings that came from the committee were as follows: “The player was interviewed in the presence of his mother and subsequently sent a letter to the committee verifying that the matter is not one of sexual abuse, as is being reported by the media and other factions within the cricketing fraternity.
“The team official was interviewed and he indicated that he needed to seek legal advice with respect to the matter and he subsequently communicated with the committee through his attorney denying the allegations.
“It came to the attention of the committee via the misrepresented publications and discussions that a complaint was made to the Children’s Authority. This was not so as the player is over 18 years old.”
Ragoonath also dismissed another item as false saying that based on the interview with the player no report was made to the Police.
He revealed that based on the initial enquiry by the committee, legal advice was sought and the board was instructed to immediately refer the matter with all the findings to the TTCB national disciplinary committee for further investigation in keeping with the provisions of the TTCB constitution, principles of natural justice and respect for due process.