LICB to woo Masters organisation following controversial tournament

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By Neto Baptiste

The Leeward Islands Cricket Board (LICB) will be making efforts to bring the Leeward Islands Masters Cricket Association under its umbrella.
This is according to Chief Operations Manager, Vernon Springer, who said the suggestion was made during the opening of this year’s tournament here in Antigua over the Whit weekend.

The president of the Leeward Islands Cricket Board and a director of Cricket West Indies, Enoch Lewis, opened the 2019 Masters Tournament and he challenged the executive to “sit across the aisle because the time has come where we are saying that we have to get everyone under the same umbrella,” he said.

“We have decided that we are going to write to the new executive and we are going to set up a meeting in order to help us go forward and be able to take the competition to another level,” he added.

Antigua and Barbuda defeated St. Thomas by six wickets at the Mack Pond Playing Field in All Saints on Sunday to lift the title for a second straight year.
The event however, was not without controversy as teams refused to have some matches officiated by the designated umpires for fear that they would cheat for the team of their choice. Some matches, including the final, was officiated by individuals not trained as umpires.

Springer said these and other issues must be fixed ahead of next year’s tournament.

“We had a qualified umpire in Bernard Joseph and Carl Tucket and you’re going to take Lawrence Carty from Anguilla who is the manager of the Anguilla team and another gentleman to umpire in a final, it’s just alarming but like I said, I have to know my boundaries. The Leeward Islands Masters have an executive and you just have to fit around the puzzle and make things happen,” he said.

Springer, who acted as coordinator for this year’s tournament, also highlighted deficiencies in the scheduling of the matches.

“You certainly have to find a way to start the tournament on Thursday and end on Sunday so that players can be comfortable. A lot of the teams were banged up and I had to get in a physio to come and look after some of the players and I think that’s an injustice,” the coordinator said.

In Sunday’s final, St. Thomas amassed 182 for three in their 20 overs with Neil Lewis hitting a top score of 92. His knock came in 54 balls and included six sixes and eight fours.

Set a revised target of 167 on the D/L method after rain interrupted their innings at 40 for one, Antigua and Barbuda got to their target of 161 in 12.5 overs, losing four wickets in the process.

Captain Sylvester Joseph hit 56 off 20 balls while Trish Philip supported with 38.

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