PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
The Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Association (TTCA) is seeking the assistance of the government to retain the services of their Indian Premier League (IPL) players for the 2013 Champions League T20.
President Azim Bassarath says TTCA wants government to assist with negotiations to ensure T&T players represent their country and not the IPL franchises in the tournament later this year.
The Red Force qualified for the CLT20 for the third time in a row, after beating Guyana in the finals of the Caribbean T20 at the Beausejour Cricket Ground in St Lucia on Sunday.
"For the past two years that we went to the Champions League, T&T didn't have their best players available," Bassarath said during a ceremony to welcome the players at the Piarco International Airport.
"This year, I want to ask for the assistance of the government."
Last year, there was uncertainty over who Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Dwayne Bravo will play for in the wake of an announcement from sports minister Anil Roberts that they will represent their country.
However, an agreement appeared to have broken down and the three went on to represent their IPL franchises Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders.
"What I think we should do is that, as early as possible, put something in place," the TTCB president explained.
"We can negotiate with the personnel of the Indian Premier League, asking and begging and requesting that we have available to us all our international stars."
T&T finished runners-up behind New South Wales in the inaugural CLT20, in 2009, and also qualified for the 2011 and 2012 editions.
Bassarath notes that Trinidad and Tobago's participation this year could be the last as a country.
The Caribbean Premier League, a franchise-based tournament, replaces the Caribbean T20 as the West Indies' domestic T20 competition.
"We should leave no stone unturned to make sure that we have our best team available for the 2013 Champions League," Bassarath told journalists.
"If we (the officials) have to travel (to India) before the tournament, as I said before, we should travel and we will be begging the Government in that regard."