THE Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board intends to soon embark on a major rebranding exercise in the same manner that the national women’s team was recently renamed the Red Force Divas.
This announcement was made recently by president of the TTCB, Azim Bassarath, when he spoke at an official reception for newly crowned 2016 Nagico Super50 regional champions at the National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva.
Bassarath said that the age-group teams will soon carry the mantle of Red Force Giants, and Red Force Juniors, among other similar designations, to assist in forging their own unique identity and allow them to become more marketable for sponsors and to the general public.
In admitting that the TTCB is not perfect, though widely accredited as the best performing national sports association, Bassarath said the organisation continues to work hard and the success of the Red Force team is testimony to the board’s disclipine, dedication, honesty, integrity and accountability.
“We do not miss annual general meetings; fail to produce audited accounts or reports for our stakeholders. Our organisation is an open book. We consult and deliberate on issues and make bold and definitive steps, sometimes in the face of apparent adversity, but always in the best interest of this great game we call cricket,” said Bassarath.
Present at the function were Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith; representatives of the major stakeholders, including Wynda Chandler, the National Gas Company’s Head of Community Relations; and Kevin Davis, Executive Manager, Sales and Marketing of Nagico Insurances.
The TTCB chief said while fans have been appreciative of the exceptional performance of the team on the field, there were many others who have contributed to their success led by the management team comprising coach Gus Logie, his assistant Kelvin Williams, trainer Adarayll John and lady physiotherapist Donna-Marie Wickham.
He also made special mention of the national selection panel headed by former spinner Raphick Jumadeen, the cricket operations staff at the TTCB headquarters, the logistics crew at the three playing venues and the players who participated in the trials and practice matches to prepare the national team.
Bassarath said that the key to the Red Force’s domination of their opponents in the Super50 tournament was undoubtedly their preparation and an unabashed confidence projected by captain Jason Mohammed of their intention to repeat as champions for the second straight year.
“All of this pointed towards team confidence gained before the battle, by the planning, and preparation by long hours of training. These are the attributes that manifested themselves on the road to the championship,” said Bassarath.
And he quoted a famous line from Sun Tzu, the Chinese general, military strategist and philosopher who wrote in “The Art of War”: Victorious warriors win first and then go to war; while defeated warriors go to war first, and then seek to win.”
Apart from the major victory of claiming the first regional crown at stake for the new year, Bassarath also pointed to several other notable achievements which he said augers well for the future including national debuts handed to Jon-Russ Jagessar and Philton Williams in the Nagico Super50; and to Uthman Mohammed earlier in the Regional Four-Day Tournament.
“We also welcomed, our two overseas franchise players, Narsingh Deonarine from Guyana; and Kyle Hope of Barbados who were playing for the Red Force for the first time,” said Bassarath.
He also pointed to the appointment of young Kjorn Ottley as captain of the national team, during the R4-DT in an attempt to create a system of successorship when the time comes.
And he expressed his satisfaction with the attitude of senior players Darren Bravo and Denesh Ramdin, who stepped up and fulfilled the expectation placed in them on joining the national squad after the West Indies tour of Australia, prior to the semi-finals of the Super50.
Bassarath said both players added super value to the Red Force, playing important innings to pave the way for the Red Force to emerge triumphant despite fielding a depleted team because of the unavailability of key players or injury.
And he was high in praise for core players of the squad including wicketkeeper Stephen Katwaroo, century maker Evin Lewis, Rayad Emrit, Marlon Richards, Akeal Hosein and Imran Khan.
“With each match the team grew in confidence and strength, so much so that against Guyana in the semi-final, and Barbados in the final, the Red Force was hardly threatened,” said Bassarath.