St. John’s Antigua- Former national, Leewards and West Indies fast bowler Kenneth “Flipper” Benjamin called the Antigua & Barbuda Combined Schools’ participation in the Sir Garfield Sobers Under-19 Cricket Tournament merely a joy ride.
Speaking with OBSERVER Sports, Benjamin said he knows that he would be chastised by some people for saying so; but he stands by his word.
The former pacer said we should not be participating just for participation sake because it has done nothing for the players. He said that at no time over the years Combined Schools participated that the team was fully prepared and always finished, if not at the bottom, near to it.
The Combined Schools cricket team is in shambles because even in the current ABCA Two-Day Cricket Competition, at times they cannot even field a full team which is an indication of the standard.
He noted that Antigua & Barbuda is the only country that sends a combined schools team, while the other countries send a single school team; and in spite of that, our combined schools team cannot beat an ordinary school team.
Benjamin said that full preparation is the key to success and every effort should be made to have a prepared team to send to that tournament.
He added that financing is not easy to come by at this time and money spent on cricket or any sport should be spent wisely.
He however noted that a team should be selected and put into training for two or three years before any participation, but had concerns that there would be those who may want to travel just for the per diem.
The Sir Garfield Sobers Under-19 Cricket Tournament is held each year in July.