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Women’s cricket stunned
“We are disappointed and we are hurt”. The words of T&T Women’s Cricket Association president Jocelyn Francois-Opadeyi reacting to the news that T&T did not bid for matches for next November’s ICC Women’s World Cup which is coming to the West Indies.
The women’s cricket fraternity was left stunned yesterday as the 4pm deadline came and went without a bid. T&T Cricket Board president Azim Bassarath told Guardian Media Sports at 6pm yesterday, his board had still not received any official correspondence from the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs nor the Sportt Company of T&T on the government declining to bid.
He too said he was “disappointed but not surprised”. T&T and West Indies Women’s spin bowler Anisa Mohammed, also spoke to us expressing similar feelings. “I honestly thought they would have at least bid for a couple of games at the Brian Lara Stadium. It is disappointing to not play a World Cup match at home. As an athlete, you want to perform at home in front of your family and friends, and in front of all the fans you are representing. To know that we will not be given that opportunity to play in a World Cup at home is disappointing,” she said.
Francois-Opadeyi went a step further in saying this is a missed opportunity for the country. She said, “It is a backward step. For the past 14 to 15 years, we have toiled and we have struggled. The players have done their bit in terms of sacrificing so that would have been a culmination of all the years of hard work for us.”
Earlier yesterday, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith did a phone interview on The Morning Shot on CNC3, saying, “Based on the US shortage and more importantly, the other costs that would have been involved, I don’t think any level-headed minister or person, in private or public life, would bid to host something where they are not seeing the resources needed for the output.”
Bassarath told us the investment is $TT500,000 and his board had put out its arm in support of using its Sportt Company subvention to assist with offsetting the costs. The TTCB head also questioned Sportt Company chairman, Dinanath Ramnarine’s involvement in the decision-making process. Minister Smith did say during the Morning Shot interview, he leaned “heavily on his advice”.
Bassarath was left baffled by Ramnarine’s involvement, citing the ongoing court matter within the cricket fraternity. “I want to know whether the advice came from the Sportt Company, whether Mr Ramnarine is an adviser to the Minister of Sport, or whether the directors of the Sportt Company were involved in that decision. I don’t think the directors of the Sportt Company would have made a decision and supported something like that,” Bassarath said.
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