By Neto Baptiste
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA), Leon Rodney, is standing behind the body’s decision to cancel all competitions earmarked for the 2020 domestic season.
Speaking on the association’s decision for the first time since it was announced on Monday, Rodney said the body spent quite some time studying all the scenarios and, in the end, concluded that given the current global pandemic, the only option was to cancel all competitions.
“Let’s take into consideration that now is the end of April so we are going into May, and looking to go into June, and if you follow what’s going on with this Covid thing then clearly, let’s just say that come to the end of May, you tell me what time is really left for us to play any kind of cricket and going back into preparation and so forth. I think that the association looked at it extensively and recognised that it is just best to call the season. It’s a decision by the directorship, but I believe it is a good one,” he said.
At least two clubs, Jennings and Liberta Sports Club, although welcoming the decision to end the stalled Two Day competition, have questioned the decision to pull all tournaments slated for 2020.
Rodney said a number of factors must be taken into consideration as a number of measures would have to be put in place before play could resume even after the all-clear is given by health authorities.
“If a man sneezes you are going to be cautious, if a man coughs you are still going to be cautious so we don’t think that this Covid thing is something to play around with, and hence we believe that we have made the right decision to call off the rest of the season. obviously, and it’s just reality, whatever decision you make somebody is not going to like it and that’s why sometimes, tough decisions have to be made,” the cricket boss said.
As for the notion that Jennings should have been handed the Two Day title based solely on the fact they are leading the competition, Rodney said the competition rules are clear on how a champion must be crowned.
“The tournament is played with rules and the rules clearly state that you have the four top teams going into a semifinals and the two teams that win in the semifinals will play in the finals. Let us give Jennings some kudos for how well they played so far for the season but they should also understand, especially the Two Day format and how it’s played in that structure of going to semifinals and finals. The reality is, Jennings may have been leading the tournament but who is to say that Jennings would have won the tournament,” he said.
Jennings led the Two Day competition with 48 points, three ahead of Pigotts who have 43. Liberta Blackhawks were third with 37 while Empire followed in fourth also on 37 points. Bethesda lay fifth with 23, New Winthorpes and Rising Sun Spartans were both on 22 in the sixth and seventh spots, while Pythons, Combined Schools and Bolans were eighth, ninth and 10th respectively.