By Neto Baptiste
Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) Super 40 title hopefuls, PIC Liberta Blackhawks, could have added firepower for Sunday’s final against Pigotts Crushers.
This was revealed by coach of the team and former West Indies fast bowler, Kenneth Benjamin, who said West Indies and Leeward Islands bowling all-rounder Rakeem Cornwall and Leeward Islands batsman Kofi James, could both feature for the former champions in the crucial match.
“A couple of our franchise players might be available, in Rahkeem Cornwall and Kofi James, so that will add something if they get here. I know there are some flight issues coming out of St Kitts, so we don’t know. Apart from that, we have five pitches at Barrel Beef and two of them are out of the same type of soil up at Coolidge, and we will be using those for our practice leading up to this weekend, to try at least [to] get it similar to the type of conditions we will have up there,” he said.
Blackhawks, who have been to 13 finals in 15 years, defeated Empire Nation by four runs in a high-scoring semifinal contest on Sunday to advance to the final which is slated for the Coolidge Cricket Ground on March 26.
Benjamin warned however that they will not be taking their opponents for granted.
“Both teams will start out with 11 men, the same field, the same pitch, the same umpires, two new balls, so I think that from 11am next Sunday, once the weather is good, it’s even-steven. All that has happened before would not have helped us, and especially when speaking about the mental part, you would want to tell your players that today is a new day, we have one game to play,” he said.
Coach of the Crushers team, Ajarni Frederick, said his players are backing themselves to do well against the highly favoured Blackhawks, especially following their shock five-runs triumph over All Saints Pythons on Saturday.
“It’s important to back your strength as a team and back yourself throughout the whole competition and believe in our ability to do well. We expect to put in a good performance all the time so whether we win or lose, a performance is what we look for at all times. We have been in first class for five years now and this is our first final, so right now the confidence, the fans are bubbling and so we are just happy to be there. We are going to try to boost our morale to continue push to get one more game to get over the line,” he said.
Both the third place and final will be contested at the Coolidge Cricket Ground with the third-place contest slated for Saturday and the title match on Sunday. All Saints Pythons and Empire Nation will contest the bronze medal match.
Both matches will start at 11:00 am and carries admittance fees of $10.