ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Nine of Antigua & Barbuda’s top cricketers have been included on a list of 28 sub-regional players as they prepare for a 12-day training camp to be staged in St Kitts from January 16 to 27.
Justin Athanaze, Rahkeem “Jimbo” Cornwall, the young Alzarri Joseph, Sylvester “Bouncing” Joseph, Anthony “I-Roots” Martin, Orlando “Baby” Peters, Mali Richards, Devon “Boobie” Thomas and Gavin Tonge have all been named in the line-up.
The other members of the training squad are Lionel Baker, Quinton Boatswain, Nelson Boland, Jahmar Hamilton, Javal Hodge, Montcin Hodge, Yannick Leonard, Javier Liburd and Steve Liburd.
Also included are Sheino Liddie, Jeremiah Louis, Jaison Peters, Sherwin Peters, Adelvin Phillip, Keiran Powell, Lyndel Richardson, Akeem Saunders, Kelbert Walters and Tonito Willett.
Former West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman and Chairman of Selectors within the Leeward Islands, Ridley Jacobs, will conduct the camp in the absence of Coach Stuart Williams, who is currently in New Zealand.
Selecting the final 14, according to Jacobs, should not be such a bothersome task. He, however, expressed concerns over how coaching and management staffs are selected.
“You have a lot of senior players who are in the team already and you would be looking for those guys to really lift their weight and perform. So I think that with some of the senior players and some of the younger inexperienced players, it should not be that difficult to select the 14 that the West Indies Cricket Board is looking for,” Ridley said.
“I have spoken to some of the guys from Anguilla and some of the guys from Antigua and most of the guys just want to go there and do well. But the problem that I have with Leeward Islands cricket when you select the team is who’s working with the players,” he added.
“I find that the guys we have working with these players representing Leeward Islands in the tournament, I think we need to have the right set of guys working because most of the players complain about the coaches, the management and stuff like that because they are not comfortable and I think that in that environment, you need players to be comfortable so they can perform to their best.”
Asked if he is concerned over the short period during which the team must be selected, Jacobs said the onus is on the players to come prepared.
“Most of the players are aware of the situation because this is not the first time it has happened. A lot of the time we go to the camps we don’t have enough time to really work with these players. So we think that the players should know that when they’re coming to the camp they should be in some sort of readiness in terms of preparing themselves through their personal training,” he said.
Maysfield Nisbett of Nevis, according to a LICA release, has been co-opted to perform the duties of physical trainer. The other two selectors, Livingstone Harris and Lawrence Carty, will join the camp in time to witness all of the practice matches and select both the one-day and four-day teams.
Leeward Islands have been placed in Group B of the NAGICO Super50 and will depart on January 29 for Trinidad. Their first match is against Barbados on February 2. Matches will be played at the Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad and Shaw Park, Tobago.
Matches in Trinidad will be broadcast live on ESPN Caribbean, while only highlights will be available for matches played in Tobago.