Hurricanes throw lifeline to Saunders

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A Leeward Islands cricketer who was arrested and charged for drug possession at the VC Bird International Airport in January, has been given a lifeline by the Leeward Islands Cricket Board (LICB).
President of the LICB and former player, Enoch Lewis revealed during an interview that the franchise is willing to consider the St. Kitts player for a contract on successful completion of a drug rehabilitation programme that could run for up to six months.
“We’ve had many meetings with him and right now he is on a programme to sort of restructure, bring about some reform in his life. We have professionals around him now who are providing counseling and guidance to him,” he said.
“We’ve said to him that along with that programme, we are going to be doing some testing to ensure that you are not still on the other side [using drugs] from where we want you to be. If at the end of that programme Akeem comes through, then we will consider giving him another contract, give him another opportunity to come back and play cricket,” Lewis added. 
Saunders was convicted and fined $300 for importing 11 grammes of marijuana into Antigua. The 23-year-old was sentenced on January 18 after spending two days on remand. The batsman pleaded guilty to a charge of importing the controlled substance.
According to Lewis, more players will be subjected to mandatory testing as Cricket West Indies implements a regional programme.
“Cricket West Indies is now rolling out a programme for wider testing and so we are going to be part of that. The testing itself is going to become wider. We have just addressed the Akeem situation in this counseling session because he was the person involved, but you are going to find that going forward, in very short order, players are going
to be tested from time to time because whereas previously, the testing was
something that took a lot of time and had to be sent overseas, they now have a programme where it can be done almost immediately,” he said.
The cannabis was found in Saunders’ shoes on his arrival on a flight from Jamaica. He was in transit, along with other members of the Leeward Islands Hurricanes, to St. Kitts when Customs and police officers searched him and found the contraband.

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