Jacobs blames ‘poor cricket’ for dismal 50 overs showing

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Coach of the Antigua & Barbuda senior national cricket team and former West Indies wicketkeeper, Ridley Jacobs, has blamed “poor cricket” by his players, in their last two matches of the recently ended Leeward Islands 50 overs Competition, for the country’s disappointing third place finish.
Antigua & Barbuda lost back-to-back matches to Anguilla by five wickets and then to Nevis in the final match of the competition to finish with 20 points, six points behind both St Kitts and Nevis with 26 points each. St Kitts were however declared champions as they had previously beaten Nevis, giving them a head-to-head advantage.
Jacobs said the make-up of the team was ideal for this tournament but stopped short of suggesting that some players were not as serious as they should have been.
“We had a very good team but the very last two games I didn’t think we came to the party because we played some really poor cricket. I honestly think that when we were batting we used up a lot of dot balls, we didn’t score a lot and that builds pressure on a batsman and we didn’t get the scores we were looking for,” he said.
“In the fielding, when you drop six, seven and eight catches, there is the possibility that you will lose the game and I think that contributed to the loss; we dropped a lot of simple catches,” the former player added.
Jacobs added that his team “underestimated” their opponents and were, figuratively, caught with their pants down.
“I honestly think that we still have a lot of good quality players, a lot of young players that need to be nurtured properly and taught the right discipline. I just think we probably underestimated those two teams that we played against last. I honestly think that St Kitts was the [best] of all the teams we played and we beat St Kitts quite easily, and when you look at the Anguilla team and their bowling it’s quite mediocre,” he said.
“I think that when you look at Nevis’ bowling as well, it is very mediocre plus the batting is very poor and I just think we underestimated those two teams,” the Swetes villager said.
The former Test and ODI player has, like many coaches before him, suggested that more time be allotted to the preparation of teams ahead of major competitions like that of the Leeward Islands 50 Overs.
“It doesn’t make any sense we just get together for a week and play a tournament and we don’t see each other again for a while until something happens again. I think it must be a continuous programme where you have these players working with for a number of months and you will have time to work on their weaknesses and strengths and have good plans going forward,” Jacobs said.
Anguilla finished fourth in the competition with 18 points and St. Maarten fifth with 14 points. Montserrat ended second from bottom with eight points while Combined Islands failed to record a win in the tournament to end at the bottom of the standings with just two points.

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