By Neto Baptiste
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA), Leon Rodney, revealed this week that the body has sought to mediate and or bring the ongoing impasse between the New Winthorpes Sports Club and Youth Training Development (YTD) group to an end but to no avail.
“I’ve spoken to Bouncing [Sylvester Joseph], I’ve spoken to Paco, I’ve spoken to the president [of the sports club] who is a guy by the name of Rample, and I’ve spoken to Robert Joseph and there are some issues where some parties will tell you straight up that once a particular individual is involved, they won’t to have anything to do with that,” he said.
“When they started to build the nets, that also created some steam and the steam came very simple and as you know the ABCA also gave them some money, so it is something that I have spoken to them about,” he added.
Although the standoff between the two groups, both based in New Winthorpes, has seemingly been halted for now, there have been several reported incidents, some of which resulted in one side calling law enforcement on the other.
Just last month, one member of the YTD group reported what was suspected to have been wanton destruction of a pitch that had been prepared in anticipation of a pending training sessions while one member of the sports club had reported the destruction of a lock on a building in which equipment belonging to both the sports club and players.
Rodney said it is time to put “petty differences” aside and work for the overall interest and development of the sport and its players.
“For the interest of the people who play the sport and the sport itself, I am calling on them again to get their act together and come together and make sure that things can work. There are some youngsters right now playing cricket, and if you call them tonight at midnight saying there will be practice up Boggy Peak, then every single one of them will show up. So whatever Kerry and Robert would have added to it, I don’t really want them going around saying xyz, because all coaches in Antigua have to be given credit for nearly all the players,” he said.
Reports are that the YTD, a group formed in an effort to provide female cricketer Shawnisha Hector and a number of other young players with an opportunity to train in New Winthorpes, had initially been denied access to the playing field following clashes with some members of the sports club. President of the YTD, Kerry Skepple, said the group is in the process of applying to the ABCA for membership.