St. John's (Antigua), April 12 IANS | 6 months ago

Former West Indies pacer Kenny Benjamin has criticised the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) for its lack of attention to developing local cricket.


The 47-year-old, who took 92 wickets in 26 Tests between 1992 and 1998, said there were critical areas of the local game that needed urgent attention which were being overlooked.

"Club structure, that is very critical, coaching education and development infrastructure and if we start looking at those areas, the rest will basically fall into place because once you start developing and educating coaches, your youth programmes and so on will be better," Benjamin said.

"Once your infrastructure is taken care of, the quality will improve but you need club structure to make sure that good management of the clubs and so on is in place."

Benjamin quit as second vice-president of the ABCA a month ago, following the conclusion of the one-day series between West Indies and England. He was elected last November.

He said the ABCA leadership appeared preoccupied with the "glamour" associated with cricket and not with the spurring development of the game.

"To me, some of them just like the glamour. When international cricket comes, they like to feel important and they walk around the stadium and people see them with their ABCA executive member (logo) on their chest and so on," Benjamin pointed out.

"One or two of them just like the camaraderie but it has happened over the years where it becomes the norm that local cricket will take care of itself. But it is not true."

He said it was this lack of attention to local cricket that had led to his decision to resign from ABCA.

"I don't think there is a leadership problem. It is just the interest in local cricket. I went into the association for that only and I made clear that for international and regional games, I just want to go by the sidelines and sit and watch," Benjamin explained.

"I don't want to be involved and run around with no big thing (official pass) around my neck saying executive member. I am not interested in that. I am interested in local cricket and once I saw that local cricket was way down on the priority list, I just said you know what, it's not happening, so I am out of here."

(Posted on 12-04-2014)

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