Former West Indies paceman, Kenneth Benjamin is of the belief that Antigua’s improvement in cricket cannot be left up to schools but must be tackled at the club and community level.

West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards has come on out in strong support of the decisive measures taken by the government of Antigua and Barbuda in battling the COVID-19 epidemic.

As of Wednesday, the number of confirmed cases in the country stood at 19, with 2 deaths recorded so far.  In a bid to flatten the curve and prevent the spread of the disease the Antigua and Barbuda government took the stringent measures, with seven-day lockdown with began on April 2.  Prior to that, the country had closed the island's ports to passenger vessels and ferries.

During the curfew, only persons who transact essential business such as to seek medical attention or to purchase essential food or medical supplies have been allowed to move freely.  The move has been criticised in some quarters as damaging to the economy, but the legendary West Indies swashbuckler was in full support of the move.

Richards compared it with a decision he made several years ago not to take part in the infamous rebel tours of South Africa, despite being offered a blank check.  He has never regretted it.

“I am one of those individuals that when I make my mind up in terms of the decision making and all that, then that’s it and that, to me, was worth much more than money,” Richards said in an interview with the Antigua Observer.

“Take for instance the decision made here by our leaders in locking the place down, that’s totally correct and people look at the economic side of things but if you don’t have life then you can’t work on the economics. So the most important thing is to preserve life and if we can do that in a collective way, we can achieve our goals,” he said.

 

The Barbados Pride have been declared winners of the 2020 West Indies Championship (Four-Day), following a CWI Board of Directors teleconference held Tuesday afternoon.

 Acting upon the advice of the CWI Medical Advisory Committee, the board decided to cancel the last two rounds of matches in the first-class season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Barbados Pride top of the points table after the eighth round, the Board unanimously agreed to award the Headley/Weekes Trophy to Barbados.

“All around the sporting world, we are faced with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cricket, cricketers and all our stakeholders involved in the game have been affected at various levels and we must continue to work to together and act responsibly in containing the spread of the virus,” said CWI CEO Johnny Grave.

“Ten days ago, we suspended our tournaments and camps for 30 days and now we have extended that suspension until the end of May as well as reluctantly cancelled some tournaments and tours in their entirety.  We will continue to monitor and assess the situation and make further decisions and announcements in due course.”

Grave added that the health and safety of everyone concerned were paramount and noted that CWI has put all systems in place to make sure its staff was observing the necessary protocols as outlined by the CWI Medical Advisory Committee and the World Health Organisation.

CWI has also reinforced the importance for all Territorial Boards and Local Cricket Associations to follow the advice of their respective Ministries of Health.

 

Below is the final points table:

 

Barbados Pride                                  134.8 points

 

Trinidad & Tobago Red Force          94.6 points

 

Guyana Jaguars                                  91.8 points

 

Jamaica Scorpions                             91.8 points

 

Windward Islands Volcanoes           78 points

 

Leeward Islands Hurricanes            52.8 points

  

Meanwhile, the Tournaments and Camps immediately affected are:

Colonial Medical Insurance Women’s Super50 Cup – postponed to later this year.

Regional Under-19s Women’s T20 Championship – postponed to later this year.

Regional Under-15s Boys Championship – cancelled for 2020.

West Indies Under-15s Tour to England in the summer – cancelled for 2020.

West Indies High-Performance and International preparation training camps – cancelled until at least May 31, 2020.

 

 

 

 

The 2020 Carifta Games that were scheduled to be held in Hamilton, Bermuda, from April 10-13 has been postponed until further notice because of the threat of the spread of the Coronavirus.

The 2020 Carifta Track and Field Championships is under threat of cancellation with The Bahamas likely to withdraw from the meet that is set to run from April 10-13 in Bermuda.

West Indies Women’s captain Stafanie Taylor currently sits atop the ICC ODI batting rankings.

Antiguan high jump specialist Priscilla Loomis has highlighted facing significant financial obstacles in her bid to compete for the country at this summer’s Tokyo Olympic Games.

The 30-year-old athlete had previously hinted at retirement after narrowly failing to qualify for last year’s Doha World Championships.  On that occasion, the Pan Am Games silver medalist pointed to several factors that influenced her consideration, chiefly among them was a lack of available funding.

Despite the change of heart regarding her decision to continue competing for the tiny island nation, the funding issues remain.  

“It is what it is at this point. My husband and I spoke and he took out a personal loan to fund me and to make sure that I have whatever I need for funding so that was one of the biggest reasons why I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to even train, I knew I would not have been able to do it on the funding [from NOC],” Loomis told the Antigua Observer in a recent interview.

The Antigua and Barbuda National Olympic Committee (NOC) assists with the funding of elite athletes that compete for the country.  The stipend is believed to be in the region of $US 1000 per month.  Loomis, however, seems to deem the amount to not just be insufficient but more significantly not always disbursed on time.

“I know I am not the only athlete that had minimal funding and so when we sat down and put our numbers out I had to take a step back a little bit from my business, which my clients were totally okay with. So I worked four days per month to help with the rent where I lived, to train and then my husband took out the personal loan for the rest of the year to get me what I need in terms of clothing, shoes, medicine, gear, nutrition and all that.”

Jamaica John Chin recently and Bermuda’s Trey Mallory teamed up to win the U18 title at the Antigua& Barbuda Cup held in St. John’s Antigua.

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz cruised to a 2-0 win over Antigua and Barbuda in the CONCACAF Nations League at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, in St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda on Friday.

In the lively Group C fixture, it was the visiting Jamaicans who looked the more menacing team early on but were plagued by inaccurate passes and poor finishing in the final third.  Despite being good value for a lead, when they did take one in the 34th minute it was somewhat fortuitously.  Maalique Foster emerged from a thicket of players to knock the ball into an unguarded net after Antigua goalkeeper Molvin James had spilled an Alvas Powell shot from a tough angle.

The Jamaicans continued to enjoy dominance in possession, but the hosts also put positive spell together, despite lacking a cutting edge in the final third. 

The Reggae Boyz doubled their lead in the 58th minute after Ricardo Morris slammed the ball high into the roof of the net after being played through from a well-weighted Shamar Nicholson pass.  The Benna Boys threatened to at least get a consolation goal late on but D’Andre Bishop saw his 82nd minute shot charged down by the Jamaica backline.

The win saw Jamaica extended their lead to a perfect 15 points with 5 matches played in the group and secured their spot to the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.

 

 

Former West Indies batsman Gus Logie has been named the Interim Head Coach of the West Indies Women’s Team. Cricket West Indies has also appointed a new team manager.

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