By Neto Baptiste
Former national cricketer and President of the Leeward Islands Cricket Board (LICB), Enoch Lewis, believes the quality of play has regressed here over the last 20 to 25 years.
Asked to compare players today to those he’d competed against or played with during his active years, Lewis said Antiguans dominated Leeward Islands selection for a very long time, and he believes players today are struggling to get to the next level.
“If you were to judge it purely on getting people to the next level you would have to question it and say look, we are probably not doing the best job possible. In my day, the Leeward Islands selectors would reach seven and eight Antiguan players and then try, and squeezing somebody else, and not that they couldn’t pick another Antiguan, but they tried to squeeze somebody else from somewhere to give it the appearance of a Leeward Island’s team,” he said.
The former right-handed batsman said that although more cricket is being played today, players are finding it harder to make the transition to the regional and international platforms.
“Two years ago maybe, I was saying to a local director here of the association because the Leeward Islands team came to me and when I looked at it, Devon Thomas was the only player from Antigua in it because Rahkeem Cornwall was either ill or he was on an A Team tour and I asked, how is it that Antigua is now having only one player in the Leeward Islands team and somebody needs to take a serious look at this. We are playing more cricket I believe, but the quality is not what it should be,” he said.
Lewis scored 2237 runs in 42 First Class matches with a highest of 158, and 554 runs from 18 List A matches with a highest of 94.