LICA president defends postponement decision

ST JOHN’S, Antigua- Leeward Islands Cricket Association (LICA) President Gregory Shillingford has maintained that all five territories that opted to participate in the now postponed sub-regional three-day tournament had been informed ahead of the competition as to what level of financial input would have been required.

The administrator who has announced he will not be contesting the organisation’s elections slated for December, said LICA has an established tournament structure which sets out the responsibilities of hosts, visitors and those putting on the tournament.

“A budget was prepared by the TDO (Technical Development Officer) Mr Junie Mitchum and assisted by the President of St Kitts Cricket Association (Auckland Hector) and it was sent to everybody including LICA executives,” he said.

“So this budget was in the hands of everybody and everybody knew what they were responsible for, and this was done since about March or April, and it was assumed therefore that people would then arrange finances. But the reality is that the economic climate is not a friendly one at this time.”

Shillingford further outlined the specific responsibilities of LICA, saying that it was the participating territories that failed to live up to their end of the arrangement.

“LICA generally is responsible for the provision of balls, assistance when unavoidable, assistance with grounds preparation, but normally it is the host territory who is responsible for preparing grounds, arranging grounds rental, and if most grounds belong to the government, they should be able to get that type of assistance from the government,” he said.

“LICA also is responsible, together with the Leeward Islands Cricket Umpires’ Association for financing the match control team; that is the umpires and the match referees and arranging accommodations and meals for them if they have to travel.”

LICA, according to Shillingford, opted to put its limited resources towards the preparation of a number of youth teams.

“The money that was in our account was almost one-third or one-quarter of what was the expenses we expected to put out,” he said.

“So under the circumstances, we made a decision that these LICA matches which can be compared to, if we were in Trinidad, to club teams playing. We said that if teams wanted to continue playing the tournament, they would have to bear the cost, and given that we had under-17, under-15, under-19 teams that had to prepare and participate in regional tournaments, we thought we would make that our priority to finance.”

Antigua, Montserrat, Nevis, St Kitts and Anguilla opted to participate in the competition, while USVI, St Martin and BVI did not enter.

LICA has not said when the three-dayer will resume, but Gregory has given the assurance that the competition would be completed later this year.

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