Sunday, January 21, 2018

Poor discipline, disunity blamed for poor Leewards showing

ST JOHN’S: Former West Indies cricketer Sylvester Joseph says the Leeward Islands have been performing poorly in regional competitions because of a lack of discipline, inconsistency and disunity among the players.

Joseph, who captains the team, says the fortunes of the sub-regional side will not be reversed until the players adopt a fresh approach to the game.

“Their mentality has to change and adapt to being professionals and we have to be patient and get the right players that really want to enhance Leeward Islands cricket. That’s what it is going to take,” said Joseph.

“I think that players are just looking out for themselves and for everything that will benefit them and not the team so the team will continue to struggle.”

Leeward Islands finished at the bottom of the table in all three competitions hosted by the regional board--Four-Day, T20 and 50-overs.

The former West Indies batsman also lamented that the inability to concentrate for even short periods continues to be the Achilles heel of the Leewards.

“When we are batting and as soon as we have a partnership, we get out and batsmen are getting to 20, 30 and 40 and getting out. Those are not performances at first class cricket,” he said.

“You need players and bowlers to be consistently hitting the right areas and batters to be consistently scoring hundreds in order to put the team in a good position and we failed in that big time.”

Former West Indies cricketer, Eldine Baptiste, who also coached Kenya’s national team, was brought in to help improve the fortunes of the Leeward Islands cricket team.

However, while praising the ability of Baptiste to perform as a coach, Joseph said Leeward Islands players urgently need to step up their game.

“I don’t think it worked in favour of Leeward Islands cricket as you can see the result shows,” Joseph said.

“In professional sports you need people to perform at the highest level for the betterment of the team, for the betterment of individuals (in the team), and I just don’t think that the players adapted to that mentality as yet.”