By Neto Baptiste
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA), Leon Rodney, said “serious decisions will have to be made” regarding the format of the Two Day competition.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Rodney said that although last weekend’s final between champions PIC Liberta Blackhawks and Empire Nation was an exciting one from a spectator standpoint, the overall quality of the competition has diminished over the years.
“The thing is, you can see some improvement in some of the teams because, for example, it’s reasonable to probably highlight a team like Jennings because from whence they came you could see the gradual improvement over the last couple of years. When Covid struck [in 2020] and we had had to shut down, they were the team leading the Two Day tournament, so you can see that the team has shown some improvement.
“We, however, have to look to do some restructuring because this Two Day thing definitely needs some deep cleaning and some ideas have been around for quite a while,” he said.
Issues plaguing the growth of the sport here came to the fore following the final with president of the Liberta Sports Club and former West Indies fast bowler, Kenneth Benjamin, suggesting that the number of teams be reduced from 10 to six.
Rodney said talks could start within days.
“The One Day cricket seems to be holding its own because people seem to really want to play the One Day tournament as it creates some good atmosphere. But what you find happening is that once the One Day tournament finishes, a number of players will not play in the Two Day version because of time. So, I would not want to put too much into it because I have my own ideas which I have expressed to Kenny [Lewis] and I’ve also discussed it with a number of teams in terms of an approach we could take,” he said.
The cricket boss said he is not expecting any major pushback regarding any changes that will be proposed.
“I believe if they are serious about cricket and the development of the Two Day version, then I don’t see they would want to shy away from the proposal. Obviously, notwithstanding what somebody may feel, the association will have to make a decision on how the improvement can come about. We can’t continue the Two Day tournament the way in which it is; it’s just not making sense,” Rodney.
Blackhawks captured the Two Day title with a three-wicket triumph over Empire Nation. It was their third straight title this season after having claimed both the Super40 and the Cool & Smooth T20.