PORT OF SPAIN – In addition to their duties on the field as cricketers, the Trinidad and Tobago Twenty20 team will also be going to the Champions League T20 in India as the Ministry of Tourism’s Sport Tourism Ambassadors.
And the legendary Brian Lara will be in India with his Trinidadian colleagues as well.
The Denesh Ramdin-led team, which includes mystery spinner Sunil Narine as well as West Indies players Ravi Rampaul, Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons and Samuel Badree, will take on the added responsibility of marketing T&T on the international stage.
And with that goal in mind, the Ministry of Tourism have sponsored the team to the tune of TT$1 million to help with their preparation and other expenses for what will be their fourth outing in the Champions League T20.
The million-dollar sponsorship of the team was revealed yesterday during a press conference/farewell lunch for the team at the Queen’s Park Oval ballroom in Port of Spain, with Ministry of Tourism Permanent Secretary Juliana Johan-Boodram highlighting the roles of T&T contingent.
“Sport Tourism has been identified as one of the key niches that the industry in T&T will be pursuing for both the domestic and foreign markets. It is a vehicle to bring more visitors to T&T,” she explained.
Johan-Boodram also reminded the cricketers on their roles on the trip.
Two of the roles they will have are to be ambassadors and marketers.
“As ambassadors, represent your country. Be responsible. Carry your flag proudly and be aware of your actions.”
“As marketers, let the world know about your country. Utilise your new contacts and spread the word. Use your social media to tell the world about us,” she explained.
Lara, another of T&T sports ambassador and one of the country’s biggest sporting icons, was also present at the function and endorsed the initiative of the Ministry saying: “Anything that is Red, White and Black that is representing us, don’t just represent us on the field but off the field as well.”
Lara said he was honoured to be associated with T&T’s participation in the Champions League and believed that T&T had a team that would make the country proud.
He also wants to help the team during the competition.
“I am just going to be there, not a part of management but as a former cricketer I am willing to lend a hand in any way I can.
“I hope I will have a chance to interact with the guys while in India and whatever way I can help. I have always had an open door policy and I look forward to working with you guys, the management, the captain Denesh Ramdin and all the players,” he added.