Captain of the Leeward Islands cricket team, Steve Liburd, has expressed disappointment with the way the sub-regional squad has been playing in the ongoing WICB Regional Four-Day competition.
Liburd, speaking with OBSERVER Sports from St Kitts where the Leewards will take on Jamaica in their next contest, also described the mood amongst the players as subtle following their 158 runs defeat at the hands of Combined Campuses & Colleges (CCC) here at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds (SVRCG).
“Yeah, I am disappointed. We had little preparations, but it was vital and we look good in the nets, but it is just not transferring in the matches,” Liburd said.
“The mood is subtle. We had a chat yesterday after the game and it was a blunt chat, so everybody stated what they had to say and we are not looking back on the past. We are going to move forward from this game coming up.”
According to the Kittitian, who made 27 and four runs, respectively, in the team’s loss to CCC, blamed poor batting performance for their dismal showings to date.
“We didn’t bat properly in both innings. We didn’t get off to a good start in none of the two innings and that was basically (keeping us back), and the middle order was not able to stage a recovery of sorts; and you find that in the last two games, it was the lower order doing most of the scoring,” he said.
“Bowling wise, we are just not sticking to our plans for long enough, (but) the batting is more the problem than the bowling.”
Liburd, who turns 26 on Saturday, alluded that not enough cricket is being played throughout the Caribbean and believes it is having a negative impact on the quality of young players coming out of the region.
“Work needs to be done – drastic work as a matter of a fact, because if we go into a Leeward Islands tournament and we play two to three games, that is not really helping to develop the cricket,” Liburd said.
“We need to play a lot more games and with the way the countries are close by, we need to get a sponsor for the tournament and things will start looking up because if there are no sponsors or incentives, the players will (gravitate) to the American sports like basketball or soccer.”
Leeward Islands were restricted to 186 all out in their first innings, responding to a total of 286 posted by CCC.
T Willett had a top score of 51 for the Leewards, while Baker had 37.
The sub-regional squad was bundled out for 211 in their second innings in response to CCC’s 269 second innings total.
Antiguan Justin Athanaze had a blistering 65 in the team’s first innings.
The Leeward Islands take on Jamaica on February 25.