Former West Indies fast bowler Kenneth “Flipper” Benjamin believes the time has come for the Leeward Islands Cricket Association (LICA) to start outsourcing talent.
The former Leewards player made his statement while rebutting coach of the Leewards team, Ridley Jacobs, who said he would reject any recommendations supporting the importation of players from outside the sub-region.
“You can’t have someone in Jamaica like a Danza Hyatt who is probably better than most of the Leeward Islands batsmen sitting down because Jamaica’s selectors did not select him,” Benjamin said.
“We can’t have someone like a Miguel Cummins in Barbados, but because he wasn’t selected in the Barbados squad sitting down. How are these guys going to help West Indies cricket and they are descent players?
“It is the small-mindedness of the cricket people around the region and the non-vision and the non-love for West Indies cricket because everybody is so territorial that if you are not from my area then I don’t want to select you and we have to get away from that,” he added.
Benjamin, who is currently second vice president of Antigua & Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA), said also that LICA should work towards the formulisation of a plan that would outline a projected path towards bringing its cricket and cricketers back on track.
“What are we going forward on? It is nice to sit down with a few people, but you have to have documents and you must have some sort of research or something to guide you along and say this is the best way to go forward,” he said.
“This is something we have discussed on a wide scope across the Leeward Islands and even the West Indies and this is the guide that we are going to follow.
“The confidence, the mental aspect has been shattered, so I think we need to look on a three to five-year development plan moving forward,” the former player added.
Jacobs following the team’s five-wicket loss to Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday in the NAGICO Super50 tournament, said players in the Leewards are just as good as any. He said proper guidance and support could prove to be the missing ingredients.
Leeward Islands will wrap of their Super50 campaign on Monday when they take on Barbados at the Queen’s Park Oval.