‘Mussai’ New Master Blasters Coach After ‘Flipper’ Resigns

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Former national cricketer, Derol “Mussai” Thomas, has been appointed coach of the Antigua & Barbuda Master Blasters following the resignation of former West Indies player, Kenneth “Flipper” Benjamin early Friday morning.
Thomas, when contacted, confirmed that he will be coaching the team during the one-week Independence Tri20 Tournament being staged at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
Benjamin said his decision to resign came after the Antigua & Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) questioned his choice of Kerry Mentore as captain of the team.
“Trust is very important and if you cannot trust John Archibald and myself to make a decision like that then the surrounding isn’t conducive and I just think its trust is the biggest thing. At the end of the day, we were working with Kerry for the past couple of weeks in terms of strategies and so forth and we didn’t even know that Devon was going to come until about four or five days ago and up to now I don’t know if he is still going to come,” he said.
“The fact that you just decided that you are not accepting Kerry Mentore and you recommend Devon Thomas without even saying to us that we should look at someone else but you are recommending and I just don’t know that boards do that,” he added.
Meanwhile, President of the ABCA Leon “Kuma” Rodney, labelled Benjamin’s decision to resign as “unfortunate” given the proximity of the tournament.
“It’s unfortunate and I say it’s unfortunate because at this [11th] hour but at the end of the day he has to do what he has to do and we’re going to have to do what we have to do. We just hope we can have enough people talking to the players to get them to understand that this game is about them and not the coach or the assistant coach or Kuma Rodney or anybody like that,” he said.
Rodney, a former national and Leeward Islands coach, said he was of the impression that the matter had been resolved since Wednesday when the ABCA decided to stick with the coach’s recommendation of Mentore for the captaincy.
“Up to when I even went to bed last night [Thursday] the matter was resolved so I don’t know why I even received the letter but at the end of the day we received the letter and we just have to do what we have to do, we have to move forward. We were born and met this game and we are all going to die and leave it,” the cricket boss said.
The ABCA, in a press release issued Friday, named Mentore as captain of the team while Abdiel Hughes was named assistant coach.
Play started last night with Antigua and Barbuda Master Blasters facing Jamaica. Play continues on tonight when Guyana play Jamaica at 6 p.m.
The competition continues Sunday when Master Blasters meet Guyana at 6 p.m.

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