PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Long-serving president Azim Bassarath faces a challenge for the top post of the Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) from current secretary, Surujdath Mahabir at this year’s annual general meeting on October 30.
Bassarath, a director of Cricket West Indies (CWI), the sport’s regional governing body, is seeking his fifth term as TTCB president, but Mahabir, a former T&T off-spinner and outgoing president of the Secondary Schools’ Cricket League, made clear his intention when he filed his papers on the final day of nomination on Friday.
The newly elected president will serve for a term of four years, rather than three, after changes to the constitution of the TTCB were pushed through during the last week.
“We are aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has and continues to affect the smooth operations of sporting organisations, including the TTCB,” Mahabir said in a statement following his nomination.
“However, we have identified that there has been stagnation and even a decline in many aspects of our cricket prior to this, especially in visionary proactive leadership, youth development, team performances, club structure and sustainability.
“To arrest this decline, post-COVID, and reignite interest among our young people and club cricketers will require a new vision, futuristic planning, participatory decision-making, enhanced internal relationships and effective networking with, and among all stakeholders, supporters, and well-wishers of our beloved game.”
Mahabir said his belief that a change was required was Bassarath’s statement in a recent newspaper article that suggested there was “unfinished business”.
“This truly exemplifies our belief that a change of leadership is urgently needed,” he said. “One would have thought that a long list of achievements and easily identifiable markers of success in governance structures, policies, accountability, competitions, and youth development would have been proffered.
“After 12 years of ‘unfinished business’, it is time for new leadership and a new business plan if T&T and West Indies cricket are to once more rise to the top. This type of status quo cannot be maintained.
“Our valuable resources and finances must be channelled and managed efficiently and effectively into the right areas for growth, development and success of our players, clubs, and national teams.”
Six executive positions – president, first vice-president, second vice-president, third vice-president, general secretary, and treasurer – are up for grabs when the elections are held.
Along with Bassarath and Mahabir, all the other incumbents – first vice-president Arjoon Ramlal, second vice-president Kerwin John, third vice-president Parasram Singh and treasurer Sukesh Maniam – are facing challenges.