St. George’s (Grenada): Captain Dwayne Bravo has raised strong objections after the words Trinidad and Tobago were dropped from Red Steel for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) which began in Grenada over the weekend.
The experienced West Indies all-rounder and Trinidad and Tobago national says those responsible for the name change are a “bunch of jokers,” reports CMC.
“I think whoever made that decision, it’s uncalled for. Ninety percent of the players in the team are from Trinidad and Tobago. We are using the national colours,” said Bravo.
“All the other islands are proud to use their country’s name, whether it is the Barbados Tridents, the Jamaica Tallawahs, why not Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel?
The CPL has confirmed that the request for the removal of the Trinidad and Tobago name from the Red Steel franchise had come from the Minister of Sport Anil Roberts.
CEO Suruj Ragoonath and executive member Baldath Mahabir both agreed with the decision which was made by the CPL after a request from Roberts as well as the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB).
“Trinidad and Tobago is a sovereign country and the franchise is not owned by the TTCB, but it is owned by a private entity so it is more appropriate given the fact that it is not really representing Trinidad and Tobago, but the franchise holder, that Trinidad and Tobago should not be on their name,” said Ragoonath.
“Maybe if it was the Port of Spain Red Steel that might be more appropriate. I think it is a good idea that it is not named after the country and I think this should obtain throughout the region and not only in Trinidad and Tobago”.
Bravo made his comments after Red Steel registered a convincing seven-wicket victory over the Barbados Tridents in the first round of matches at the National stadium here.
“I play a lot, heart and soul for Trinidad and Tobago. I’ve done a lot for my country and will continue to do so,” he told reporters here.
“The people in the front are the ones who are gonna suffer the most to know that our country (name) has been removed and at the end of the day, we are representing Trinidad and Tobago and that brand is very important for me, and I’m going to continue to use Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel team.”
The sports minister has defended the name change, saying Trinidad and Tobago is exclusive for national teams.
“This CPL franchise (the Red Steel) is not a national team and does not consist wholly and solely of citizens of Trinidad and Tobago,a said Roberts.
“Therefore they have no permission whatsoever to utilise the brand of Trinidad and Tobago which must be jealously guarded for citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.”
However Bravo says Red Steel players have also expressed disappointment over the name change.
He has insisted that despite the name change he will continue to use Trinidad and Tobago as a way of promoting his country.
“Maybe I might get into trouble for it, but so be it. I believe it’s the right way Every time I am leading this team, I’m going to use Trinidad and Tobago and ensure that my country gets full mileage from this big international tournament. Whoever made the decision, call them a bunch of jokers,” said Bravo.
“When you look at the IPL you have Chennai Super Kings, you have Mumbai Indians. Not all the players are from Mumbai; not all the players from Chennai; NBA, Miami Heat, not everybody from Miami, so what is the big deal?” he said.
Mahabir has suggested that the franchises be named after the cities where they are based rather than the country.
“In reality it is a franchise team and not a Trinidad and Tobago team. One might want to look at naming it after something Trinidadian or Tobagonian, some kind of derivative of the name or rather the city in which the franchise is based, like the Indian Premier League,” said Mahabir.
“Something like the Port of Spain Red Steel which would be similar to what is used in the IPL like Chennai or Bangalore or Mumbai rather that to use the name of a country”.