Tuesday 10 December, 2019

TTCB saddened by umpire's death

The Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) says it has been left stunned and deeply saddened at the news of the death of cricket umpire 38-year-old Carlton Best.

The body of the umpire was found in the Aranguez area on Wednesday night.

He was last seen alive on Tuesday around 8 pm in Sangre Grande.

Police believe he was robbed.

The TTCB in a statement said Best is remembered as a bright star on the cricket horizon from whom great things were expected in the field of umpiring.

It added the loss has slammed the local fraternity of umpires and scorers with a painful body blow from which they will take some time to recover from.

The TTCB said although he struck an imposing figure of authority out in the middle, he was in fact quite soft- spoken and amiable.

Paras Singh, head of the T&T Cricket Umpires and Scorers Union added that only last month Best was officially certified to officiate in regional First Class matches.

He said his last big assignment was the recently concluded Cricket West Indies Regional Under-17 Tournament which was staged in Trinidad mere weeks ago.

Singh said that Best was listed to be officially welcomed as a full-fledged West Indies umpire at the biennial convention of the regional body in Barbados, but could not as it coincided with his duties at the Under-17 tournament.

“He lived for cricket and put everything into becoming a top class umpire and was liked and admired by all who came in contact with him,” said Singh.

The umpires boss revealed that Best was expected to attend a meeting of zone umpires in Sangre Grande on the night he was found dead.

Singh said his absence was unusual and that one of his colleagues tried to contact him on his cell phone when he did not show up.

He is now calling on the authorities to do their best and bring the perpetrators of what he described as a heinous crime, to face justice.

“This was a man who was an asset to the community and a role model for Toco and environs. Carlton was a decent human being. Nothing could have prepared us for this outcome. He would have reached far in the cricket world as an umpire. Our condolences and prayers go out to his bereaved family, his friends and the entire cricket community,” said Singh.

Meanwhile, President of the T&T Cricket Board Azim Bassarath said he was shocked to hear the tragic news.

Currently chairman of the CWI Sub-Committee of Umpires and Match Officials, Bassarath said Best’s passing has left a void which will not be easily filled.

“Carlton represented years of personal investment in the game he loved so much and he received the support of the umpires’ fraternity and the TTCB. We have been left stunned and deeply saddened by his passing,” Bassarath said.

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