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Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) president Azim Bassarath said that forking out millions of dollars to host the Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 semi-finals and finals for the next two years is not in the best interest of local cricket.
In a TTCB press release yesterday, Bassarath said “Hosting six matches for $42 million does not make any sense to us when we feel that the funds are desperately needed elsewhere, for instance to pay the debt owed to the T&T Cricket Board amounting close to $24 million which has accumulated over the past four years.”
According to the TTCB press release, a proposal currently before Cabinet for the allocation of more than US$7 million towards the staging of the semi-finals and final of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 for two years. The release said “TTCB officials are shocked about the development, saying the returns are questionable on a project which hands over more than TT $42 million to a private foreign entity to stage only six matches in T&T over two years.”
“The TTCB has no connection with the CPL. We do not prepare the teams nor pick the final XI or stage the matches. So there is no opportunity for the local game to get any trickled down effect for the exorbitant sum of the money being talked about,” said the TTCB president about the latest developments.
The release noted that “apart from settling the outstanding debt to the TTCB, it was also felt that funds destined for the CPL could be better utilised in the development of the National Cricket Centre at Balmain, Couva up to international level.”
“If Government is really interested in getting value for money it should support the development of the sport at the grassroots level which helps builds communities, creates opportunities for young people, both male and female throughout the country,” the TTCB release added.