By Neto Baptiste
One principal figure within the New Winthorpes Lions cricket team and a former West Indies captain, Sylvester Joseph, said that although he appreciates the value of having one or two sub-regional players in his line-up for the cricket association’s Super 40 competition, they could forego the offer in favour of an all-local cast.
Reports surfaced two weeks ago that a number of players currently contracted by the Leeward Islands Cricket Board (LICB) could be filtered into a number of local teams as they seek game time preparation ahead of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Super 50 tournament set to start in February.
“To be honest, we don’t really have any players coming in from the Leeward Islands. We had a guy from Jamaica and we had a guy from Barbados and in these tournaments we are not allowed overseas players but we have a fairly good team. Our team, to me, is one of the most balanced teams and we have a few players that are involved with the Leeward Islands teams whether presently or in the past. Most of the guys represent Antigua whether at the under-19 or under-15 or in the senior team so with youth and experience, I think we have a very good team,” he said.
Lions made it into the final round of the recently held 10 Splash cricket tournament put on by the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) and was one of the favourites to win the title after advancing from the group stage.
Despite not seeing the immediate need for his team, Joseph said he supports the initiate as other teams could benefit from the injection of quality players.
“When you look at some of the teams, I think they need the assistance to make the competition a lot better and also to help the Leeward Islands team with their preparations for the Super 50 and I don’t have a problem with that but some of the teams are already pretty good. I was even looking and my team and wondering if it is necessary for our team because of the players we have but other teams out here will have to speak for themselves,” he said.
The ABCA Super 40 tournament is set to bowl off on 16th January with 10 competing teams.
Defending champions Empire Nation, PIC Liberta Blckhawks, Pigotts Crushers, Bolans, Jennings, All Saints Pythons, CUB Bethesda Golden Eagles, Combined Schools and Rising Sun Spartans will also compete in the tournament.