T&T officials say success a result of sustained investment
Trinidad & Tobago's dream run in the ongoing Champions League Twenty20 is the end product of sustained planning and financial investment in cricket, the country's top sports officials have said. While sport and youth affairs minister Gary Hunt has specifically credited the financial investment by Sports Company of Trinidad & Tobago (SPORTT) and the Tourism Development Company (TDC), cricket board chief Deryck Murray pointed to the role of local tournaments and development programmes.
According to the T&T Express Hunt said that TDC pumped in US$ 100,000 in financial assistance while SPORTT, who had been crucial in planning and development for years, gave the T&T cricket board $14million over the last three years.
"What we see in India now is the end product of countless meetings and a significant investment of the government of Trinidad and Tobago," said Darren Millien, executive director of SPORTT. "Through all our efforts, collectively, we are now reaping the rewards of years of investment in national cricket development programmes."
TTCB president Deryck Murray said that the board approached several corporate groups in T&T and signed up two international marketing agencies as a means of generating a sponsor for the team. Following the failure of those strategies the TTCB signed on Venky, an Indian poultry company. Murray also credited local tournaments and development programmes as key to T&T success in India, where on Thursday they will meet the Cape Cobras in the second semi-final.
"It comes down to preparation over the years and preparation at different levels," he said. "This team has not come about overnight...it is just that the world is only now getting to see them."
This is not the first instance of an outside corporation assisting T&T's campaign at the Champions League. Before the squad flew out of the West Indies, the captain Daren Ganga needed ministerial help after his employers denied him leave.