Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 17th 2015 Contents A54
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, December 17, 2015
GEELONG, Australia---West Indies head
coach Phil Simmons has promised a fight-
back from his team when they face-off
against Australia in the second Test match
bowling off Boxing Day in Melbourne.
The Windies lost the series-opener by
a huge margin but have regrouped and will
be looking to make amends in the second
match, as they try to make up for their
huge disappointing showing in Hobart last
Simmons told reporters the Windies had
reflected, analyzed where they had gone
wrong and were now anxious to show their
"The guys sat down and they know
exactly what they have to do and they know
that they re capable of doing it.
It s not like it s out of their league," Sim-
"I m looking forward to this next one.
You saw the way how Darren Bravo played
in the first innings, with a well-compiled
century, and the way how Kraigg Brathwaite
played in the second innings, he was solid
and played strokes all around the wicket.
That s what we need more of, that kind of
He was speaking at the Simonds Stadium
here as West Indies held a training session
on Wednesday afternoon, ahead of their
two-day tour match against the Cricket
Victoria XI starting Saturday.
From here, they will take the one-hour
drive to Melbourne to start preparation for
the Boxing Day contest.
Simmons said the both the batting and
bowling departments needed to prove their
"The bowlers have been good in the last
four or five Test matches---they weren t
good in the last one---and the batting has
let us down quite a bit," Simmons noted.
"The batting is at the point that we need
to prove that we are as good as we re made
out to be.
They re good players, we know they can
play at this level and it s up to them to
come out now and show everybody that
they re back in good nick." (CMC)
The biggest fear in the T&T Professional
Football League may be realised in 14 days.
A large number of clubs maybe forced to
cease their operations as soon as at the
end of this month, if subventions from
the government are not paid.
This would mean close to 500 people,
including players, coaches, trainers and
other club officials being on the breadline,
right after the Christmas holidays.
All the clubs, with the exception of
Defence Force and Police, receive monthly
subventions of an estimated $83,000 to
help offset the cost of salaries.
These subventions have not been paid
for the past three months (October, Novem-
ber and December) and the clubs are now
concerned about their future.
Some club officials have said they had
to take bank drafts to ensure players salaries
However, when contacted yesterday
Communications Manager at the Sport
Company of T&T Adrian Raymond offered
hope to the clubs and the league, saying:
"I don t think the clubs should be unduly
worried about the payments because things
are being put in place to deal with them."
He painted a bleak picture of the financial
situation now facing sport in T&T, saying
because of the reduction in the price of oil
and gas which is now below $40 per barrel,
the company has had a drastic cut in its
budget by $24 million which means that
there will be sacrifices made and major
chopping and changing measures will be
He pointed out his company had since
been exploring ways to generate income
through economies of scale and other
Raymond told the T&T Guardian: "The
board at SPORTT was also recently
appointed and apart from the sporting
organisations, they have to deal with elite
athletes funding etc.
But the fact is, that everything has to be
done in the context of the economic sit-
Efforts to contact Dexter Skeene, the
chief executive officer (CEO) of the T&T
Pro League were futile.
The Guardian understands that the
monthly operating budget for clubs is esti-
mated at $150,000 which include expenses
such as travelling costs, equipment, medical,
salaries and other miscellaneous expens-
es.Point Fortin Civic Centre (PFCC) coach
Leroy De Leon said his players accepted
half their salaries last month and they have
begun looking for jobs outside of football
to take care of their families.
"I cannot tell them not to look for a job
because they have their families to look
after" De Leon said.
The President of St Ann s Rangers,
Richard Fakoory said at present his club
will not be able to function beyond Decem-
ber 31, if the subventions are not paid.
He explained that while Rangers is up-
to-date with payments of salaries, he will
have to repay interest from bank-drafts he
took to meet the player s salaries.
Meanwhile, North East Stars manager
Maurice Eligon said his club has also been
hard-hit by the non-payment of the sub-
ventions, but they have been doing anything
they can to ensure they survive.
He said: "Our club has been trying for
years to get a recreation ground of its own
where we can bring in money at the gates
and help off-set some of their expenses."
He added "We can assure ourselves 2000
spectators on game days, but instead we
have to use the Larry Gomes Stadium as
our home where it is difficult to get sup-
The T&T Guardian made attempts to
contact Minister of Sports Darryl Smith on
the issue but without success.
...but says he's still
committed to Windies
Dwayne Bravo says he is still committed
to playing for West Indies but was forced
to quit Test cricket because of the poor
treatment meted out to him by selectors.
Speaking ahead of his campaign in the Big
Bash League for Melbourne Renegades, Bravo
told media here that with little interest com-
ing from selectors he had turned his attention
to the lucrative Twenty20 leagues across the
"Until earlier this year I was still interested
to play Test cricket but I have yet to hear
anything from any selector, what their plans
are for me, what my position is," Bravo
"I just decided it s time to move on with
my life and try to channel my energy in dif-
I would have loved the opportunity to play
Test cricket again but since being dropped
back in 2010 I never got the chance and I
just decided to call it a day."
He continued: "I m not shutting down
my opportunities to represent the West
Indies, I still 100 per cent want to play for
the West Indies in One-Day internationals
The 32-year-old played the last of his 40
Tests five years ago after scoring 2200 runs
at an average of 31 and taking 86 wickets at
an average of nearly 40. Following this pro-
tracted absence from the side, Bravo
announced his retirement from the longer
format in January this year.
He was appointed One-Day captain in
2013 but axed a year and a half later after
he helped lead the players fight against the
West Indies Cricket Board and the West
Indies Players Association, which resulted
in the controversial abandoned tour of India.
Bravo said many West Indies players felt
more respected outside of the Caribbean,
and this was behind their decision to ply
their trade in tournaments like the Big Bash.
"I get frustrated at times, not only for
myself but for all the other cricketers, Chris
Gayle, Darren Sammy, Kieron Pollard, Andre
Russell, we all want to represent West Indies,"
"But sometimes the way we have been
treated over the years ... why should we
actually fight with West Indies cricket where
the rest of the world opens their arms for
us? "Yes they pay us well but at the same
time we never feel disrespect in any way
when we play for those teams around the
world. We feel love.
We feel well-respected. Do we get that
type of treatment back in the region? No we
don t." The T&T-born player has continued
to feature in the West Indies T20 squad,
however, and was part of the Sammy led
squad which lost 2-1 to Sri Lanka in a three-
match series last month.
However, with the ICC T20 World Cup
slated to bowl off in March next year, Bravo
said he was taking nothing for granted about
"I would love to think that I would be
good enough and have done enough to get
selected for the T20 World Cup but I m not
saying anything. I don t know," he mused.
Simmons backs Windies to stage Melbourne fightback
Pro League clubs
face closure by Dec 31
Leroy De Leon...Point Fortin Civic Centre
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