Senators: Bill should be more beneficial to Trinidad and Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Dr Maria Dillon-Remy

Opposition and Independent senators debating The ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup 2024 Bill, 2024, on Tuesday, were disgruntled about having been given the 48-clause bill the night before the debate. They said the bill seemed to have several clauses which put the citizens of TT at a disadvantage.

Leader of government business in the Senate Dr Amery Browne said TT has distinguished itself as an excellent convener and host of all types of events. He decried the criticism put forward by opposition senators that TT had not bid for enough matches. TT is hosting four first round matches and a semi-final match.

“Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world. If we hadn’t gotten part of this tournament, we would have heard vitriol, but we are hosting and they come to sing out of the other side of their mouths. Why would they seek to denigrate the number of matches?”

Browne said while opposition senator Anil Roberts asked why none of the matches were being held at the Queen’s Park Oval, the businesses surrounding that venue were doing well, while holding the matches at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba meant people and businesses in that area would benefit.

Independent Senator Maria Dillon-Remy said there were several areas which would benefit from the events being staged in TT, including Caricom solidarity, the hospitality industry, the food and beverage sector, transportation providers, young people, and upgrading of local facilities. She said it was also an opportunity for sport tourism promotion.

Opposition Senator Wade Mark asked why items such as large banners, musical instruments which cannot fit under a seat, and coolers of a certain size were not being allowed, as these were part of TT culture. He asked what the procedure was for vendors to get written authorisation to be at the venue. He noted Clause 46 said the minister was to formulate and present regulations subject to negative resolution of Parliament but these had not been presented.

Independent Senator Deeroop Teemal said there were several areas in which TT residents seemed to be placed at a disadvantage, including private property owners, people applying to the Comptroller of Customs, cricket club members and members of the public who would like to film the action.

Debate on the bill continued up to press time.