St. John’s Antigua- Several Antigua & Barbuda’s cricketers are showing some interest in forming a national players’ association.
Ex-Windies fast bowler Kenneth Benjamin said he was invited to an initial meeting with some other cricketers to discuss the possibilities of creating the association.
Benjamin said the main objective is to create a body to look into the interest and well being of cricket players.
“I was invited to this meeting and there were quite a few players there, including past players and current players of the various teams. There were some concerns in terms of the direction in which the game was going. Quite frankly they felt there was no leadership and the players are ones who are suffering,” Benjamin said.
“Some ideas were bandied about and it was suggested that rather than worry too much about what the current administration is not doing maybe what we need to do is form a players association.
“This would be a body that would represent the players and make sure things are in place such as insurance and proper dialogue with the cricket association to make sure the players’ rights are not infringed. And so it was felt by those present that it would be a good idea.”
Benjamin said the group also recently held discussions with president of West Indies Players Association (WIPA) Dinanath Ramnarine in the interest of formulating ideas as to how to go about creating the national players’ body.
Benjamin said Ramnarine is receptive to the idea since WIPA is an advocate of creating such national bodies in all cricket-playing islands in the Caribbean.
“We started the process. Ramnarine was contacted and he said he would love to be involved with that since it is something WIPA always wanted to introduce – different islands having their own association,” Benjamin said.
“Ramnarine was in Antigua last week and we spoke briefly because he didn’t have enough time here. When he got back to Trinidad we were able to speak on the phone. Ramnarine said once we set up the players association it would be able to receive some assistance from WIPA such as legal assistance and other resources.
Benjamin added: “We are just waiting to get the word back out to the players because this is not a club. This is for the players and they have to be the ones who really want this, so we will be feeling the players out.”