By Neto Baptiste
Former national and West Indies fast bowler, Kenneth Benjamin, believes the Combined Schools cricket team should not be playing in the domestic cricket league until it is better structured and organized.
Benjamin, who is also coach of the successful PIC Liberta Blackhawks cricket team, offered that Combined Schools should, in fact, be a development programme for young school cricketers.
“I think combined school has served its purpose and if Combined Schools is not going to start training with a serious programme from September every year, then they should stop it … I can’t get any more honest than that,” he said.
“Combined Schools is not a team to win anything. Combined Schools is about development and so it should be a programme and not a team to play in competitions. If you check from years back, even when I was playing, we were youngsters who go to train from September every year. If Combined Schools is going to just play and practice just to be in competition, then it’s a waste of time,” he added.
Blackhawks crushed the Massy United sponsored Combined Schools by 10 wickets when they met in the ABCA Two Day Competition over the weekend while they were beaten by Pigotts Crushers the previous week.
Benjamin said the current mode of operation only serves to demoralise the players.
“Every year they get embarrassed because teams go and rack up big scores against them, teams bowl them out for low scores and what is that doing for the confidence and moral of these young boys. What is it doing for their confidence and that is not what Combined Schools should be about,” he said.
“If you go back for Guy Yearwood, Taddy Arrindell and so forth, Combined Schools was a programme; it wasn’t just a team,” the former player added.
Combined Schools are currently second from bottom in the standings with eight points, four ahead of last placed Bolans who have four points. They are however set to receive a boost from the inclusion of two England-based exchange players in Sam Foster and Tom Rock set to debut this weekend.