Antigua name T20 training squad

Antigua Observer article.

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – A 24-member national training squad has been named ahead of the Leeward Islands Cricket Association (LICA) T20 Competition slated to bowl off on May 26 in St Kitts.

The squad is headed by Leeward Islands players Orlando “Baby” Peters, Mali Richards, Rahkeem “Jimbo” Cornwall, Austin Richards Jr, Gavin Tonge, Devon “Booby” Thomas, Anthony “I-Roots” Martin, Hayden Walsh Jr and Alzarri Joseph.

The other members of the squad are Damien Lowerfield, Kerry Mentore, Jermaine Otto, Nino Henry, Maxwell Georgeson, Daren Benta, Gavin Williams, Dwayne Fordyce, Kofi James, Raniel Evanson, Juari Edwards, Owen Graham, Orandel Boston and Kenrick Scott.

Coach of the team and former West Indies pacer Winston Benjamin said the selections would indicate an effort to move towards a younger national team.

“The idea behind of that is to get a nucleus of players and for the younger guys just coming in after some of the elder statesmen would have left would have been around the team for a bit. We are trying to get away from the one shot wonders and so forth so getting them into the training and getting them into the team knowing exactly what is required so when the time comes they are not alien to what is going on,” he said.

The former national and Leeward Islands player said he will also take a slightly different approach where preparation for the upcoming tournament is concerned.

“Training will be more of a match simulation; looking to rotate singles and it’s just not going to stand up and crash. What has happened is that even a team will make 150 in 20 overs you will find that you would have something like 40 or 50 dot balls but even if you don’t score you don’t want to have that amount of dot balls when you only have about 120 deliveries, legal deliveries that it is,” Benjamin said.

The team has a little less than a month of preparation time left before the start of the competition, which according to Benjamin, is ideally, not enough.

“To be honest, it is not enough time but you have to bear in mind that we are in the middle of our domestic competition so it is not as if the guys are going to be coming in having not played any cricket at all; our competition is almost a month into the tournament and we had a One Day tournament prior to that so in as much as I would have preferred more time, they are not coming to me not playing any cricket at all over the last six to eight weeks,” he said.

The team, according to Benjamin will be cut to 14 ahead of the competition.

First Published In The Antigua Observer.

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 03:32