LICB: Only ‘Booby’ No Tonge For ABCA Tri20

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The Leeward Islands Cricket Board (LICB) has released only one of the country’s national players ahead of this year’s Independence Tri20 Tournament slated to bowl off here on Friday.
Newly appointed coach of the Leeward Islands and former national and West Indies player, Winston Benjamin, confirmed on Wednesday that only top order batsman and wicketkeeper, Devon “Booby” Thomas, will be allowed to represent the Antigua & Barbuda Master Blasters in the three-team competition.
The other two players currently at the Hurricanes’ St. Kitts camp, fast bowlers Gavin Tonge and Stanny Simon, will not be released.
“People have to understand and realise that we started late and on top of starting late, we had two storms so that made it even worse so to release those players now for the Tri nation and there is no guarantee that all of them are going to play like Stanny Simon who is in the team for the first time, he needs to get a fair chance to try and make the team,” Benjamin said.
He added: “We have two warm up games and if we release them then they are going to miss, basically, both of them. Devon, on the other hand, we all know him and his qualities and he is a senior player so we are not looking at Devon’s performance [in the warm up matches] but we have to look at people who have not been tried.”
The preparation of the Hurricanes has been hampered by a number of factors with the premier one being the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Benjamin maintains that the late start has put the team behind schedule.
“It’s not the best but the guys that are here so far, we are still not at full strength. The nets, in particular, they haven’t gone outdoors, so to speak. We have been using the matting on the academy area and hopefully, we should get some word as to whether or not the nets will be ready,” the coach said.
Reports are that Windies fast bowler, Alzarri Joseph and Rahkeem “Jimbo” Cornwall who plays for Windies A, could feature for the Master Blasters in the first two matches of the tournament.
Play bowls off on Friday when Antigua & Barbuda Master Blasters face Jamaica at 7p.m. while on Saturday, Guyana play Jamaica at 6p.m. The competition continues Sunday when Master Blasters meet Guyana at 6p.m.

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