Leewards T20 camp commences
ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Leeward Islands will officially jump-start their preparations ahead of next month’s Caribbean Twenty20 competition today with the start of an 11-day camp here in Antigua.
Members of the 14-man squad started arriving earlier this week for the short camp as the sub-region looks toward the January 7 start in Trinidad and St Lucia who are joint hosts of this year’s tournament.
Captain of the Leeward Islands team, Sylvester “Bouncing” Joseph, spoke with OBSERVER Sports about the pending camp and the time it leaves for adequate preparation going into the tournament.
“I am really pleased that the team is actually getting together for the first time. It’s a few days or maybe a week or so before the actual tournament starts. It would have been more appropriate for us to have a longer camp but such is the situation over the years with the Leeward Islands so I don’t think we can harp on the fact that we don’t have a longer camp,” Joseph said.
“But whatever time, whatever opportunity that we get as a team to stay together, I just hope that we as players and management staff can put our heads together so that we can come up with the best scenarios and plans and so forth to help the guys to be successful.”
The squad also includes Vice Captain Kieran Powell, Devon “Booby” Thomas, Gavin Tonge, Anthony “I-Roots” Martin, Chesney Hughes, Tonito Willett, Jahmar Hamilton, Rahkeem Cornwall, Javia Liburd, Justin Athanaze, Kelbert Walters, Lyndel Richardson and Shane Burton.
The squad, according to Joseph, consists of players who are familiar with each other and should be able to jell pretty quickly.
“Most of us, we played youth cricket together; we played Under-19, and we have been playing for our various countries together and also playing against each other, and in the Leeward Islands team together, so I don’t think the bonding is something for us to worry about,” the Leewards’ skipper said.
“I think the players are accustomed to each other and it is just for us now to understand our objective as a team, the goals and aspiration of the Leeward Islands team for this upcoming tournament and put our skills together.”
The camp will be hosted at both Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds and Sugar Factory Grounds.
Leeward Islands will open their campaign against Barbados on January 7 at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad before squaring off against Trinidad and Tobago two days later. The full scheduled can be viewed on the WICB website.
The team is coached by former West Indies player Stuart Williams and managed by Junie Mitchum of St Kitts & Nevis.