By Neto Baptiste
Former national and Leeward Islands cricketer, Gene Gould, said selection politics played a major role in him not getting to the International level, but added he also lost interest after being overlooked multiple times despite good national and regional performances in the 70s.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show Gould, who also played for Villa on the local scene, said that despite having better figures than a lot of other players from what were considered the “bigger” countries at that time, a number of “small island” players were often disregarded.
“You used to have to fight to represent your national side, and then you go and fight for Leeward, and then there is Leeward-Windward and still President’s XI, so it was a long process so I just decided that I could not take that on. I loved the sport, I am going to play it, enjoy myself and call it George,” he said.
Gould, who played in four first-class matches for the Leeward Islands from 1971 to 1975, remembered also that in 1977, he opted not to take up an offer to play County cricket in England so he could stay at home with his ailing grandmother.
“And you know when it comes to those things [taking care of the elderly] so I said look, cricket will always be there, but my grandmother won’t always be there so I decided that let me hold on it and then after the politics came so blatant, I just told myself that I wasn’t going to [fight] with it, this is stupid,” he said.
Gould, who is revered for his skills with both bat and ball, was also known for his ability behind the stumps and would have rubbed shoulders with the likes of Sir Andy Roberts and Sir Viv Richards during his years with the Antigua and Barbuda national cricket team.