‘Blatantly Disrespectful’: Cricket Association Head Says FA’s Decision To Host Late Season Inconsiderate

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President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA), Leon Rodney
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By Neto Baptiste

President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA), Leon Rodney, has labelled a move by the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABCA) to proceed with its domestic season, starting this weekend, as “blatantly disrespectful” given that it is common knowledge the 2023 domestic cricket season is set to bowl off in April.

Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo sports show, Rodney said the ABFA must do better.

“The football association, the ABFA, are blatantly disrespectful,” he said.

“They know that cricket has a season and they know football has a season and to start the season now I think, is just downright nonsensical. I think for too long now you keep hearing the football association this or the football association that and I think they are proving that they are not collaborating.”

The FA, earlier this week, released schedules for all three of its annual leagues, marking what would go down in history as the latest ever start to a domestic football season.

Rodney fears that the extremely late start could seriously disrupt preparations for the domestic cricket season.

“Let us start down at Empire where, obviously, Empire football has to practice and the Empire cricket team has to practice. I am sure Liberta will have the same thing; Jennings will have the same thing; [and] Bethesda; so nearly all the teams will have the same problem. We will be writing to them officially as an association to an association, because I think it just does not make sense,” he said. 

The cricket boss is urging the association to rethink their decision and consider how the move would affect others.

“We would have met with the clubs [Wednesday] night and finalised our dates for our season, and there [are] some concerns obviously, because most of the guys still play football also. So, it’s a kind of awkward situation knowing that football is scheduled to go all the way down to March if my memory serves me right. I want to publicly call on the football association and say that ‘you’ve lost a lot of time during the pandemic and I don’t think it could hurt to wait until your season to start’,” Rodney said.

The cricket association will open 2023 with the ABCA 10 Splash in January. However, this competition will be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. They will then move into the Two Day Competition in April before breaking for the Cool & Smooth T20 tournament in May. Thereafter, the ABCA programme will resume with the Super 40 competition.

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