By Neto Baptiste
Leeward Islands Hurricanes continue to prepare for next year’s Regional 4 Day tournament set to start in February in Barbados, despite increased difficulty in attracting a major sponsor.
This is according to President of the Leeward Islands Cricket Board (LICB) and former Antigua and Barbuda batsman, Enoch Lewis, who said that although the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has made it increasingly difficult to attract sponsorship, this has not affected the normal day to day function of the franchise.
“It hasn’t affected us in terms of our franchise so the franchise guys are still practicing and doing inter-squad matches, doing their fitness tests and all they can do. Our plan for them is that some time later in this month we are going to have some matches and from that we look at a squad for us to engage in some matches against another territory and are having preliminary discussions on that before the four-day tournament starts and just to sharpen the skills of the guys,” he said.
Questioned about the LICB three-day tournament which has not been held since 2012, Lewis said there have been many attempts to host the tournament but that some territories have expressed concerns over the cost associated with participating in the lengthy campaign.
“The problem is that the territories, at the point in time, are saying to you that we don’t have the finance for a three-day tournament, so rather than not playing any cricket at all, you go to a 50 overs format. I know that the cricket committee, currently, are looking at how they could structure it in a certain way, and what we are doing in the meantime is that once cricket reopens again is that, if we can’t get a full Leeward Islands tournament we’re going to play some bilateral series in terms of Antigua against Montserrat and St Kitts against Nevis. So, we’d have that type of three-day tournament and have the selectors take a look at that and then pick the best people so we could then play some best of the best,” he said.
Following the CWI’s Professional Cricketers Draft held in May this year to select squads for the 2021/22 regional season, the Leeward Islands Hurricanes had selected Colin Archibald, Sheno Berridge, Keacy Carthy, Jahmar Hamilton, Amir Jangoo OHT, Kofi James, Kian Pemberton, Ross Powell Jeremiah Louis, Devon Thomas, Damion Williams, Tyron Williams, Terance Ward, Nino Henry and Daniel Doram.