By Carlena Knight
A local cricket coach is calling on the relevant officials to reconsider the recent decision to halt competitive cricket from playing on the island.
Late last year, cricket was given the green light to host competitive matches following the initial ruling by government which saw all domestic sports cease due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic but following the end of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association’s (ABCA) Super 40 tournament government without any consultation, withdrew consent in March.
It has been reported the decision to revoke the ABCA’s privileges was brought on following a viral video of the finals of the Super 10 which saw a number of spectators dahs onto the field as their team Bethesda won the title.
But Glen Miller, coach of the Jennings Cricket Club says that could have been an easy issue to solve without having to pull the plug on competitive cricket.
He says it is time for that decision to be reconsidered as the style of play of the game is in fact best suited to adhere to covid protocols.
“I don’t see the reason why cricket cannot be played. Let’s consider what we are doing. You stopped the cricket without any consultations and you cannot give me a record and say that cricket spread the virus. You cannot show me a record that says a cricketer contract the virus and we had so many games, the T10 and Super40. If people ran on the field call in the ABCA and let them know that cannot happen again. Si, I am just saying to Daryll Matthew, the Prime Minister, Sir Molwyn Joseph and Dr Rhonda Sealy-Thomas free up the cricket,” Miller said.
Miller who was speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports show said it is a higher risk for persons to contract the virus in a supermarket than it is while playing cricket.
He added that this drought is hampering youth development and finds it unfair that other areas are being opened except for sports as persons would have begun making the necessary adjustments to ensure their sporting facilities are up to the covid protocol standards.
“I am just saying why are we killing the sport that’s built for social distancing. Nobody is touching anyone. Come on, the game can play. You spend so much money for put all the protocols in place. Buy all kinda sudden, handwash, and everything and now you go tap the sport but everywhere else still a function. It’s unfair,” he proclaimed.
He believes that the ABCA was used as a ploy so that the recent Sri Lanka tours could have taken place in Antigua.
“[They] use the association to get back cricket, to get all the matches and then you shut down the cricket, so you [make] people come from overseas and play but people inside cannot play,” he added.