By Neto Baptiste
Veteran batsman and former national and Leeward Islands cricketer, Earl Waldron, wants more emphasis placed on development at the grassroots level.
The Bolans Blasters player-coach made the call during an interview on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, predicting that the standard will not improve until development is at the forefront.
“It has to be grassroots and it has to be getting enough people to play cricket, naturally playing cricket and then you start to identify the ones with special talent. The more people you get playing then the bigger the pool you get to choose from because remember that every team may only supply one or two players to Antigua but the more people you get playing is the more people you see in terms of natural talent and natural talent only starts at the grassroots,” he said.
Waldron, who represented Antigua and Barbuda at the 1998 Commonwealth Games cricket tournament in Malaysia, said the competitive nature of the game here has dwindled from when he first started playing the game.
“The competitiveness of cricket when I was playing is nowhere near the level. If you look at the chart in terms of bowling in the Super 40, the only seamer on there getting wickets is Taiem Tonge while the other four in the top five are spinners. Fifteen or 20 years ago and any spinner was lucky enough to be in that bracket, they would have had to be good because every single team back then had a four-pranged attack and they were all vying to see who were the quickest in the attack,” he said.
Bolans Blasters, currently in a rebuilding stage, has struggled in the ongoing Super 40 competition being hosted by the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA).