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Bouncer from Benjamin

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Bouncer from Benjamin

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ST JOHN’S – Former West indies pacer Kenny Benjamin says a crisis of leadership is hurting the game in the Leeward Islands.
The daily Antigua Observer reported last Saturday that Benjamin put the blame squarely on the shoulders of Leeward Islands Cricket Association (LICA) president Gregory Shillingford.
Benjamin’s comments came on the heels of the Leewards’ demoralising, 167-run defeat at the hands of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean Twenty20 tournament taking place in Antigua.
He described the last LICA annual general meeting, where Shillingford was returned to his position by the narrowest of margins, as a fiasco.
“The hardcore Leeward Islands associations – a lot of them do not want to support the president, so that is a problem,” he told the newspaper.
“St Kitts didn’t turn up. St Maarten didn’t turn up. Nevis didn’t support him and Anguilla didn’t support. So obviously that is a problem.”
Benjamin also identified the lack of a corporate office for LICA as one of the significant challenges facing the game in the sub-region.
“The Leewards Islands need a secretariat,” he said. “If the WICB doesn’t fund it, there are eight islands in LICA right now. If each of them put in EC$2 000 a month, I believe that we can fund a secretariat.
“We need to set up a place from where we can run Leeward Islands cricket. We cannot have people willy-nilly making decisions on their own, people who do not understand the game enough, people who don’t understand what it takes to move it forward.
“Get with the ministers or the prime ministers, whoever you have to get involved, and say, ‘You have to be an integral part of getting Leeward Islands cricket back. We need a secretariat’.”
Outside of the 2010 Regional Super50 tournament, in which they were joint champions with Barbados, Leewards have finished in the bottom two places in every regional WICB domestic competition for the past three years.
This decline is in stark contrast to when the side dominated the regional four-day and Super50 tournaments throughout the 1990s and early in the last decade. (CMC)