Chairman of the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) marketing committee Rajendra Mangalie has called for all hands to be on deck to assist this country’s cricket in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped the world.
The former national cricketer said: “At this point in time people are looking at all doom and gloom but as a businessman, I see opportunities in every setback. We need to be more aggressive in our marketing of cricket at this point in time to bring much-needed finances into our cricket.”
As head of the marketing committee of the TTCB, Mangalie and his fellow marketing director Sudesh Jagessar has brought in many investors in just a year. They have gotten sponsorship for the North/South Senior Classic, the Under-15 North/South Classic, and was on the fringe of bringing many more sponsors into the loop according to Mangalie.
The TTCB, according to president Azim Bassarath, has been on the right path in terms of getting investors to come back to cricket before the coronavirus pandemic.
“After the board took a major hit in terms of not having investors come on board Mangalie was appointed as chairman of the marketing arm and he immediately put things in place and we started to get ease in terms of finance coming in. We are really looking forward to his committee assisting in navigating the board through the difficult financial times.
“I am very happy with the leadership of Mangalie and the thrust being put forward by Jaggessar. The two have shown that they really care about T&T’s cricket and we need more to come forward and assist.”
Mangalie thinks that there has to be a mindset change for the game to survive in this country.
“We need to think of cricket as a business, which it is. Long gone are the days when men just sat down and went through the motions. We need to fight, we as businessmen have to make sure with our personal businesses that we take care of staff, meet the bills at the end of the month and try to make a profit.
“We have to bring that kind of thinking to the cricket board. We need to set targets and work assiduously at achieving them. We have to run the cricket as a business,” reiterated Mangalie who says he is going to ensure that cricket gets the funding it needs.
“We will find innovative ways of bringing funding to the cricket board, we started well prior to the pandemic and we will continue the work as hard as it is when things return to normal.”
Mangalie said that national cricketers who are on retainers will have to do some work as well.
“When there is no cricket, we may ask them to not only show up at functions but also accompany us at times when we meet prospective investors. I see this crisis as a motivation to work harder to achieve our goals and the marketing committee is keen to resume the work we have started.”
President’s Associates show big heart
The President Associates cricket club from St Mary’s Village in Moruga has been out and about giving assistance to villagers in need during this period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senior official at the club, Faoud Bassarath, says that the club belongs to the community and hence when the community needs something, they have to answer the call.
“We are a community club and have gotten so much support from the people here in St Mary’s that we find it difficult to turn our heads the other way when they are in need.
“We have been meeting with them and giving assistance in terms of foodstuff and just being there to talk with them and give them hope. We will continue for as long as we can.”
President’s Associates were leading Division I of the South East Zone with a 100 per cent record after six rounds when domestic cricket was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Howzat? Umpires hand out food hampers
Cricket officials continue to rally to the cause of the less fortunate in society in the midst of the crisis caused by the current pandemic. The officials have been moved by the lockdown measures, which have taken its toll as hundreds, have been forced onto the breadline, even as cricket itself has been seriously impacted.
Recently, the Central Zone Cricket Umpires and Scorers’ Association organised an impressive food hamper project which attracted the support of its top officials and members of the rank and file.
Chairman Anthony Sanowar and vice-chairman Kellman Kowlessar said they were both very happy that their colleagues could come together and chip in to provide food relief to numerous families who have been hard-hit with the loss of jobs and mounting bills to pay.
Among those who were engaged in the humanitarian effort were Mohan Moonoo, Kevin Clarke, Fareed Khan, Joanna Cuffy, Noy Francis, Aftaz Mohammed, Mozac Rahamut, Renee Persad and Lalman Kowlessar.