LICA President pleased with crowd support at cricket matches


CARIBE LUMBER BALLPARK—Gregory Shillingford, President of the Leeward Islands Cricket Association (LICA), is pleased with the crowd support at the Nagico Leeward Islands Cricket Tournament at especially the semi-finals and finals at the Caribe Lumber Ballpark in St. Maarten.


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He is also pleased to see that more effort and interest is shown in Leeward Islands cricket, especially seeing that eight teams participated in this year’s tournament as opposed to the six from last year. "St. Maarten, as a team is motivated because first time in history there are in the finals and that augers well for cricket in the Leeward Islands. The only regret he has of the preliminary matches in both Zone A and B was the below par performance of the British and US Virgin Islands teams.

Regarding the tournament format that sees three matches played back to back for each team in the tournament, Shillingford said it’s a concern if the players feel it is too taxing for them. However, he acknowledged that the current format is the nature of the tournament and the teams have to be prepared for that. "We are experiencing a financial crisis in the world right now so we need to be prudent in the way we spend our funds," Shillingford said. He noted though that under normal circumstances, this format was a "little stretch" for the players. "If we have more money there is more to spend in doing it how we want, but I don’t think that additional sponsorship is an issue here. LICA underwrites the main cost of the tournament, not Nagico," Shillingford said, adding that the individual associations had accepted the format of the tournament before it began. Concerning St. Kitts flying in late for their match last Friday, he noted that this is a local cricket association issue and LICA does not get involved in these matters.

Meanwhile, Shillingford is confident the Leeward Islands cricket selectors will select the best team to participate in the Leeward Islands team for the regional tournament in Guyana. "Making a good score or taking wickets in this tournament may not be the sole factor in determining whether you have the skills at the higher level because the West Indies level is much higher than the Leeward Islands level so they (the selectors) will be looking for batting, bowling and fielding skills that can match the skills level at the higher level so I expect they will try and give us the best team," Shillingford said.