ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The Leeward Islands selectors have made what they are calling “sweeping changes” ahead of the team’s Regional Four-Day match against Windward Islands slated to bowl off Friday at the Grenada National Stadium.
Four Antiguans – Sylvester “Bouncing” Joseph, Mali Richards, Justin Athanaze and Hayden Walsh Jr – along with Anguilla’s Lyndel Richardson have all been dropped by the selection panel.
Antiguan Orlando “Baby” Peters, Montserrat’s Quinton Boatswain and Jaison Peters, Nevis’ Javier Liburd and Anguilla’s Yannick Leonard replace the dropped players.
Coach of the Leewards and former West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman, Ridley Jacobs, said consistency had been a major factor that played against the sub-regional team and hopes the changes will turn their fortune around.
“The last two games we played we didn’t really play particularly well, especially against Trinidad, and a few guys didn’t really perform the way that we as selectors think they ought to and we think that we have to give someone else an opportunity to prove their skills,” Jacobs said.
“In our bowling at times we fell apart and I think that we need players to come there and be consistent and put the ball in the right areas for a long period of time so that the captain can be more comfortable.
“We need guys to bat and score runs because we haven’t been getting that consistently so we are looking at consistency in the team,” he added.
Jacobs said that victory against Windwards over the weekend is necessary if Leeward Islands are to stay in the competition.
“We’re basically trying to win all of our games (from here on) and this one in particular because we played against them last year but we didn’t play very well, and it is very important that this time around we go out there and give 100 per cent and really put the ball in the right areas and bat for long periods of time,” he said.
“Some of the teams have already played four games and we have played three. So it’s important that from here on we win all of our games and once we do that we stand a chance of getting into the four and then hopefully we can do better than we did last year.”
Following their clash against Windward Islands, Leewards will tackle Guyana in a game starting April 4 at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds before Barbados on April 11 at the same venue.