Benjamin: Hurricanes lost its backbone

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Coach of the Leeward Islands Hurricanes and former West Indies fast bowler, Winston Benjamin, said that the sub-regional squad lost its backbone with the departure of five of its top players. The statement follows a nine-wicket loss to Kent in Group B of the Regional Super50 tournament being played here at both the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground and the Coolidge Cricket Ground.
“When you look at the players we have lost in Rahkeem Cornwall who has two centuries already. Captain Kieran Powell, we lost Jeremiah Luis, Jahmar Hamilton and that is basically the backbone of the team so to speak. We are now in the process of losing Marlon Samuels because I think the game yesterday [Wednesday] was his last,” he said. Four of the players left following Sunday’s loss to Guyana Jaguars while Samuels played his final match against Kent on Monday as all five players have been called to Windies duty. Four of the players in, Cornwall, Powell, Luis and Hamilton will play with Windies Aagainst England A in the Caribbean while Samuels has been called to senior team duties. Benjamin believes that the regional board should consider playing the tournament within a window where there are no disruptions to team rosters.
“What it does is also brings the public back because when you would have had the Chris Gayle and so forth playing in a tournament like this then people would definitely come out and watch, but when you have an unknown and especially if you are not doing well, then the crowd is going to stay away. I think that is something they need to look at in terms of the scheduling of tours and other tournament around this time,” the former pacer said.
Despite the challenges, the former player said that they must get it right as they seek to better their performance in last year’s tournament when they reached the semifinal round before being eliminated by eventual champions, Barbados Pride. “We are going to fight, definitely, we are going to fight with what we have so we are not going to make that be an issue or a line of complaint. We just have to get into the heads of these young guys and let them know that they too, can make a name for themselves like everybody else and that all of the great world-class players, they too had a time when it was their first time so they just need to have the belief in themselves and to try and make an impact that at the end of the tournament, somebody would be speaking of a young talent coming through,” he said.
The Hurricanes have now won two and lost two of their four matches to date. They will next play the USA on Saturday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground starting at 9 a.m.

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