PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
The Trinidad and Tobago Government has promised an extra TT five million dollars to assist the Red Force in their preparation for the champions' league T20 tournament in South Africa next month.
Sports Minister Anil Roberts made the promise after the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) failed to secure the services of three of the country's star players contracted to the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the event.
Kieron Pollard, 25, has chosen to play for the Mumbai Indians; Dwayne Bravo, 28, has opted for the Chennai Super Kings; and Sunil Narine, 24, will suit up for the champions Kolkota Knight Riders after talks between the IPL and the TTCB broke down.
"The Trinidad and Tobago senior cricket team has been promised an additional five million dollars in funding to adequately prepare for the upcoming champions league T20 tournament which will be staged in South Africa next month," a release from the TTCB stated.
"This pledge comes from Minister of Sports Anil Roberts on behalf of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, which is committed to have the cricketers in the best shape possible for the champions' league 2012 T20 campaign. Roberts will also place on the cards valuable incentives for the team to win the competition," the statement said.
The Government's promise appears to have settled a much-publicised row between the TTCB and the sports minister over the board's failure to secure the services of the three players.
Trinidad and Tobago debuted as finalists in the inaugural champions league in 2009.
However, last year the Red Force were without Pollard and Bravo and did not enjoy much success after having to play a qualifying tournament to gain entry into the main draw.
T&T will begin their campaign in the champions league with a qualifying match against English county T20 runners-up Yorkshire on October 10.