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Dinas tipped for SPORTT chairman post despite ongoing legal matter with TTCB

Former West Indies Players Association (WIPA) president Dinanath Ramnarine appears set to replace Michael Phillips as chairman of the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT).

Phillips quit the role on Monday after complaining that his responsibilities had become too distracting to his business. However, Wired868 was reliably informed that the businessman and former national cyclist was frustrated by his strained relationship with Sport Minister Darryl Smith.

Photo: FIFA president Gianni Infantino (right) charms SPORTT chairman Michael Phillips (centre) and Sport Minister Darryl Smith at a press conference at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 10 April 2017. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: FIFA president Gianni Infantino (right) charms SPORTT chairman Michael Phillips (centre) and Sport Minister Darryl Smith at a press conference at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 10 April 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

The final straw for Phillips and Smith came over the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba when the then SPORTT chairman was chastised in front of his colleagues for speaking to the press on the controversial Sachin Tendulkar Stand.

Smith allegedly insisted that he alone should speak on the Lara Stadium and hoped to ride out of the controversy in silence while Phillips thought otherwise.

Ramnarine, whose imminent appointment was revealed in a tweet by Trinidad Express investigative journalist Asha Javeed, could not be reached for comment. Neither SPORTT nor the Ministry of Sport has confirmed whether Ramnarine will take up the post. However, a sport insider confirmed that the 41-year-old former West Indies cricketer has accepted the job and is likely to begin his duties as early as next Monday.

Ramnarine’s fractious relationship with the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) in general and the TTCB president Azim Bassarath in particular is sure to come under immediate scrutiny, though.

At present, Ramnarine is part of a team which has challenged the TTCB’s constitution in the local court. The current cricket constitution allows outgoing executive members to vote alongside clubs at its elections. It means, technically, the TTCB executive starts with 12 votes.

At the 2013 TTCB election, Bassarath beat Ramnarine by 28 votes to 20.

Photo: National League Representatives (NLR) member, ex-WIPA president and former West Indies spin bowler Dinanath Ramnarine. (Courtesy RJRNewsonline)
Photo: National League Representatives (NLR) member, ex-WIPA president and former West Indies spin bowler Dinanath Ramnarine.
(Courtesy RJRNewsonline)

Six months ago, Bassarath responded to Ramnarine’s criticisms by referring to him as a “runaway train which will soon derail” while TTCB executive committee member and ex-Sport Minister Manohar Ramsaran described the former WIPA boss as a hypocrite, petty tyrant and would-be dictator.

Ramnarine, who won critical acclaim for his success at the helm of the regional cricket players’ union, will not have long to wait before he meets Bassarath and Ramsaran in his new capacity as SPORTT chairman. His first major duty as chairman will almost certainly be the May 13 official opening of the Lara Stadium, which has already been a cause of tension with the TTCB as well as a sore point for the PNM administration after lengthy delays and massive cost overruns.

Smith was left with egg on his face this week as, after he announced that Tendulkar would play in the opening of the Tarouba venue, the iconic former India cricket star said he was too busy.

It is uncertain how the Government will deal with the matter of Ramnarine’s suit against the TTCB.

Two years ago, former World Cup 2006 player Brent Sancho was appointed Sport Minister despite also being involved in a legal tussle with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA). However, the matter between 13 World Cup players and the TTFA was inactive at that time and never resumed.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) president Azim Bassarath. (Courtesy TTCB)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) president Azim Bassarath.
(Courtesy TTCB)

Sancho and then TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee clashed repeatedly during the then Sport Minister’s short stint in his post.

The local sport community will look on closely to see how Ramnarine and Bassarath get on—and the potential impact on cricket.

AboutLasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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43 comments

  1. Ah boy ❗️Wen PNM giving Coolie post U no Election near

  2. This would be an epic disaster….

    • Earl Best

      Care to say why you think so, Rae?

    • THen he becomes/ will be perceived a representative of the administration/ruling Party..His great legacy/contributions acting in the players interests will be tainted..Look at what happened to Brent Sancho,after accepting the deal.

      • Earl Best

        So you’re saying it not a good idea for Dinas to accept the offer.But do you think it might be a good move as far as SPORTT and the country are concerned?

    • By the way Mr. Liburd..I want to thank you..and Earl Best..and Raf for my present well being..and liberty…Well meaning friends have suggested that now Farris and company are becoming ‘antsy’ about media,social and otherwise, they may be coming to harass and detain..I assured them the aforementioned are at the head of the line..and I am okay..Thank y’all foe ensuring ‘national media security’

      • Earl Best

        Rae,
        Don’t let your defences down, brother. This bunch of PNM bunglers are unlike to get the pecking order right so we really don’t know who is at the head of the line…or if they go just make a rarf and Lasana, you me and Raf could all end up getting the same ride to Nelson Island.

        Or wherever.

    • Haha. Glad to help. And glad to have you in our ranks.
      As regards Dinas, I feel his role is not as high profiled as Sancho and doesn’t involve him banging on tables after the PM spews out some nonsense. So maybe he will survive.
      I remember Jerlean John danced her way through a few administrations.

    • Do you feel SPORTT gets a good chairman from this move though Rae?

    • Think of it this way. .Even with record in sport media life..what if you said yes to all job in the TTFA? No way u could pull that off..

    • Hahaha. I can’t argue with that!

  3. WHO KNOW WHO,HMM NEPOTISM WOULD NEVER STOP,GIVE SOMEONE NOT IN THE CIRCLE A CHANCE NAH,I AM SO FED UP OF THIS

  4. straight talk…we had some really bright people at the helm of SporTT and the system still aint functioning the way NSOs want it to. So who’s the stakeholder the organisation is meant to facilitate? tief and dem? If Mike couldnt make it inside dey…who we go put?

  5. Wey papa! I think he will be the fall guy when they close down SPORTT #anilprotégé

  6. Why is there even a Sports Company? That monster should have been shut down and it’s board fired or jailed a long time ago….

  7. Hummmmmm…. Another ill-advised decision….steups

  8. MADNESS AND WILDNESS!!! SPORT WILL GO NOWHERE IN THIS COUNTRY

  9. Nah Lasana. Say this ain’t true. Tnt is a real bacchanalist country yes.

  10. Hope he understands the beast

  11. Earl Best

    Trouble ahead, for sure! Dinas is as far as you can get from what Cro Cro calls a “lick-bottom African,” which, I conclude from what I have gleaned from the media, would be DS’ preferred type.

    I can certainly be counted among the members of “The local sport community (who) will look on closely to see” not HOW but IF AT ALL Ramnarine and Bassarath will get on.

  12. Sips tea , then pull a Carib out the fridge to enjoy the game

  13. Interesting times if he is appointed…..

  14. He being the chairman could he still contest the TTCB presidential post

  15. So these people didn’t look at his conflict with the TTCB before making their decision? Well let’s await confirmation of this appointment. It’s like seeing light at the end of the tunnel but realising it’s an incoming train when it’s too late.