No instructions given to reinstate T&T in Red Steel – Sports Minister

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T&T Sports Minister, Anil Roberts
T&T Sports Minister, Anil Roberts

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Trinidad and Tobago Sports Minister, Anil Roberts yesterday squashed hopes that the Red Steel, the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) franchise cricket team would be allowed to add Trinidad and Tobago to its name.

In a press conference at the Ministry of Sports’ office at Port-of-Spain yesterday, Roberts was asked to respond to reports that Minister of National Security Gary Griffith had resolved the matter.

Roberts said, “The Red Steel cannot be called Trinidad and Tobago. It is not a national team and the word Trinidad and Tobago in the name is only for citizens of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago only.

“The Red Steel is a franchise team consisting of players from Barbados, New Zealand, Ireland and across the globe. The position has not changed. The Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board is the only authorised organisation who can utilise the words Trinidad and Tobago.

“Everybody could support which franchise team they would like. Trinidad and Tobago, the name, is not for sale. It cannot be used by any businessman who feel that they want to use it.”

Roberts declared that “the only person or persons who can overturn, not a decision, I don’t like to say the word decision, overturn history, who can overturn the way, the conventions of national teams and national sports,” was the TT Cabinet led by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, and including the Attorney General and other Cabinet ministers.

He noted, “So I don’t know what Gary Griffith told anyone, wrote anyone, but I can assure the CPL, the Caribbean Community, that at this point in time, the Cabinet of Trinidad and Tobago and the Prime Minister have change nothing so I do not know what Gary Griffith has changed, on what basis, on what authority or who told him, who advised him but there has been no reversal, unless, and until on Thursday, the Prime Minister and Cabinet decide in its wisdom to do anything differently, only then will there be any changes.”

Red Steel's Captain, Dwayne Bravo
Red Steel’s Captain, Dwayne Bravo

Roberts noted, “at this point, the CPL could put what they want, who they want and thank Gary Griffith but there has been no change, the Red Steel is still a franchise.”

Roberts was responding to a media release from Limacol CPL yesterday in which the management said matter regarding the Red Steel franchise has been resolved, that the team will once again be called Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel. The Limacol CPL management thanked Griffith for his intervention in bringing the matter to a “positive conclusion.”

Limacol CPL CEO Damien O’Donohoe in the release said, “on behalf of the entire CPL team, we would like to extend our sincerest thanks to the Honourable Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, and her Government for their ongoing support for CPL and in particular her help in restoring the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel name to the franchise.

“We are absolutely thrilled that the Red Steel will once again proudly bear the name of Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel, and, with three home games this week, we are in no doubt that this news will give Captain Dwayne Bravo and his team an extra boost in their efforts to take home the title of CPL Champions 2014.

“We wish them all the best and would like to thank the fans in Trinidad and Tobago for their fantastic support.”

Roberts also said at yesterday’s press conference that he will be backing the Guyana Amazon Warriors in their match against the Red Steel tonight at the Queen’s Park Oval, with its Trinidadian players Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin and Lendl Simmons.

Controversy erupted on July 12 when Sports Minister Anil Roberts said that the cricket team now playing in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) could not be called the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel. (Newsday TT)

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