ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Leon “Kumar” Rodney will not be the coach for the Leeward Islands in the upcoming Caribbean Twenty20 Cricket Tournament which will commence here at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds on January 9.
Former West Indies opening batsman Nevisian Stuart Williams will take over the job as head coach.
OBSERVER Sports was reliably informed that Rodney has not been given time off from his job for the period, which is ironic since the financial institution for which he works is one of the major players in the development of West Indies cricket with the Kiddies Cricket Programme.
Rodney coached the Leeward Islands to a joint championship title last year in Jamaica in the 50 overs tournament. He also coached the Antigua & Barbuda national team to a third Leeward Islands Three Day championship and fourth NAGICO One Day title.
However, OBSERVER Sports caught up with Williams at Pigotts Playing Field where the team is training in preparation for the tournament.
Williams said the team’s main focus is the task ahead, and that will be no excuses about preparation time since there will be a full two weeks of training.
Williams said the objective is to win the tournament and the coaching team, which consists of former coach John Archibald, former captain Wilden “Polo” Cornwall, and himself, will ensure that the team is physically and mentally prepared.
The team will be skippered by West Indies One Day leg spinner Anthony “I Roots” Martin with assistance from his deputy, Javia Liburd.
The rest of the team consists of Justin Athanaze, Larry Joseph, Gavin Tonge, Austin Richards Jr, Devon “Boobie” Thomas, Lionel Baker, Jahmar Hamilton, Kelbert Walters, Chesney Hughes, Shane Burton, Jason Campbell, and Kieron Powell.
Percy Daniel who is also chairman of the Leewards selectors will manage the team.
It is also reported that Rodney may be back as coach for the regional 4-Day Tournament in February.
Trinidad and Tobago are the defending champions and they will join nine other teams in the tournament this year – Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, Leeward Islands, Windward Islands, Combined Campuses and Colleges, Sussex, Canada and the Netherlands.