Former Leeward Islands Coach gives advice to two local cricketers

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By Carlena Knight

Former West Indies cricketer, Winston Benjamin, had a number of suggestions to give two of Antigua’s current West Indian players, Alzarri Joseph and Hayden Walsh Jr. on their ongoing development in the sport.

Both men recently played for the Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the West Indies Championship where the Hurricanes struggled winning one and drawing two of their eight matches.

Joseph had a favorable performance finishing 5th in the Leeward Island ranking for most runs with 235 and 3rd in wicket-taking with 11.

Benjamin says Joseph is in fact progressing slowly following injury.

“I said on this same program some time ago that I would have liked but because of the state of West Indies cricket he was moved forward. He had pace but to me he didn’t understand [but] he’s now learning and you can see, he’s now developing a lot better. He understands what the requirements are. His performance over the last maybe four, five months since he’s been back from injury is totally different.”

He is however of the opinion that the 23-year-old should not be limited to only one form of cricket if he is to continue developing.

“From a coaching standpoint, I would like to see him given the opportunity to play all formats of the game. First things first, is not everything people wear fit you. Basically, is not everything suit everybody, and we do not have the quality and the quantity of players to be saying that we have T30 players and test players, we don’t have the numbers, we don’t have the quality.

“We have to teach our kids the fundamentals and once you have the fundamentals properly organised then you can play any format of cricket,” Benjamin added.

With regards to Hayden Walsh Jr., Benjamin has advised that Walsh receive specialised training. Walsh Jr. has presently been in a lull performance-wise, as he had no wickets and only scored 49 runs in the West Indies Championship.

“If I was the [West Indies Cricket] Board (WICB), I would take Hayden to somebody who has the know-how; send him for maybe a good two, three months [and] develop Hayden. Who do we have in the Caribbean that bowl leg-spin? Who do we have in the Caribbean that bowls off-spin? Who do we have that bowls spin?”

Benjamin was a guest on the Good Morning JoJo Sports show on Wednesday when he made these comments.

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