Published: Sunday, March 9, 2014.
Former sports minister and present manager of the T&T National Cricket team Manohar Ramsaran has lashed out at the local broadcast media for not providing live coverage of the Regional Four-day Cricket competition now being played at the Queen’s Park Oval on Tragarete Road in Port-of-Spain. Meanwhile, retired national football coach Alvin Corneal has slammed the business community for failing to step and sponsor the Red Steel which is based in T&T and participates in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). The sporting stakeholders made the comments at Safari Publishing’s launch of the new magazine Play Caribbean Sports held yesterday at the President Box at the Queen’s Park Oval.
Ramsaran said: “Yesterday (Friday) I got several calls about which station was carrying the match? What is happening at the Oval? The media house(s) seem to be absent. Of course, if something goes bad—there’s a riot at the Oval–all the media would be here. It is time we use the media to also promote positive things: positive thoughts, positive values.” He added: “…T&T, we hear many times that sport is an industry and it must grow and so on. We are guided sometimes misguided by headlines in the media, but when we have positive things done, they are not there at all. “I am asking media houses, let someone come and tell the nation the score. They (people) might not be here in numbers, but they are still interested in what is taking place. And, if the vibrations aren’t sent, maybe people won’t come to see what is happening. The media has become integral to the development of T&T.” Corneal questioned the mind-set of the business community which regularly reports healthy earnings.
He said: “The economy of this country compares with the first five rich countries in the world, per capita and we cannot put a cricket team on the field in a Caribbean Premier League (CPL). As far as I am concerned that’s a retrograde step. They got the encouragement they needed in the first tournament and yet still it didn’t work. Okay!” Naim Khan, editor-in-chief of Play Caribbean Sports, said the Caribbean has produced some of the world’s finest athletes and journalists in various disciplines and that this never ending flow would be represented in the region’s newest glossy publication. He lauded the achievements of Usian Bolt, Gary Sobers, Vivian Richards, Brian Charles Lara, who he recalled were all schooled in the region and still held the most prestigious records in their respective disciplines.
The talent and flambuoyancy displayed by Caribbean athletes was unrivalled, Khan said, despite the lack of proper facilities, coaches and sustained financing. In his view, however, regional athletes needed to step up their level of professionalism. He said this component was an integral factor if emerging regional athletes were to achieve sustained growth. “We seem to have a never ending flow of talent, in which our people are being pursued by clubs, institutions and countries across the globe. Caribbean sport personalities bring a different atmosphere to any institution that pursues them. “Currently, the world’s finest athlete’s is Jamaican Usain Bolt. Jamaica has an excellent track and field programme which produces medals at every international meet,” said Khan. He added: “Chris Gayle, Kieran Pollard, Sunil Narine and Dwayne Bravo are all adored by the IPL franchise and supporters. Dwight Yorke, Russell Latapy and David Nakid were seldom released by their clubs. Many times the TTFF (now TTFA) had to intervene for their release. Michael Holding and Shakka Hislop are now renowned commentators on Sky Sports in the UK and ESPN.”