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Thursday, 22 July, 2021
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No Match Prep For Leeward Islands Players, Loan Arrangement Abandoned After Health Concerns

By Neto Baptiste

Teams set to compete in the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association’s (ABCA) Super 40 Competition will have to do so without the addition of those Leeward Islands players they were assigned ahead of Saturday’s start of the one day matches at venues across the country.

This was confirmed by president of the Leeward Islands Cricket Board, Enoch Lewis, who said the body was informed that all players are to remain in quarantine for the full duration of the Regional Super 50.

“We are being guided by the health protocols established by the local health authorities and they want the Leeward Islands players in a bubble. They don’t want them to be outside of that, so they don’t want them coming in contact with persons outside of the bubble. Even so, the local players from Antigua who would have normally been home, they are saying that once tested, they go into the bubble and they can’t come out before the Super 50 is finished,” he said.

Arrangements had been made with the LICB and the cricket association here to have those players set to represent the Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the pending Super 50, turn out for a number of local teams as part of their preparation ahead of the regional tournament.

Lewis said, however, that the ultimate goal is the safety and protection of all involved.

“Even where they are now, they are separated because the guys who would have come in earlier would have had their days which they had to quarantine and some of that is up. As it is right now, things are being put at their door and I guess they can come outside and run around a little bit but they can’t interact with anybody and what we don’t want is to breach any protocols,” he said.

“This is bigger than Leeward Islands team because let’s say we do something that breaches the protocols and compromises the Super 50 and it does get played, you know we are not going to hear the end of that, so we want to ensure that we stay in the lane to which we are assigned,” he added.

Although disappointed, Lewis said both the players and the board are cooperating with the directives of the health authorities.

“They know that it is necessary for them to be in the bubble and so they are making the adjustment. They are not happy campers because the expectations have been that once they come and they are tested and they test negative that they would be able to go out there and be part of the community in general,” the president said.

“It restricts us in terms of the guys being able to be assigned to these teams and just be playing cricket leading up to the Super 50, which was part of our preparation plans,” he added.

The Super 40 bowls off on Saturday when Combined Schools face Bolans in Jennings, Pigotts Crushers host Rising Sun Spartans, New Winthorpes Lions host Jennings and All Saints Pythons travel to King George where they face Empire Nation. In Saturday’s other match, PIC Liberta Blackhawks soar into the nest of CUB Bethesda Golden Eagles.

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