Mali Richards gets into Leewards squad

Mali, 26, is one of three changes to the team which lost to Jamaica in the second round two weeks ago.

The Leewards had a bye last weekend.

Longstanding Team Manager Hugh Gore confirmed yesterday that the other players coming into the side are Elsroy Powell of St Kitts and Brent De Freitas, from Tortola in British Virgin Islands.

They are filling in for the team’s leading batsman Runako Morton and leading seamer Gavin Tonge, who were both selected for  the West Indies team for the upcoming tour of Australia. The other player out is experienced all-rounder Tonito Willett.

Mali Richards, who was born in England, is a right-handed batsman and is expected to bat at the top of the order.

He also bowls medium-pace. In his brief first-class career he has played 12 matches.

The Leewards, former powerhouses in the region, are currently sixth in the seven-team tournament on six points from two matches.

They got first innings points over Barbados in the opening round in Jamaica and then lost to Jamaica in St Kitts in the second round and Gore wants to take the fight to T&T.

“We always try to stay positive and play positive cricket all the time,” said Gore, the former Antigua, Leeward Islands, Combined Islands and Somerset fast bowler.

“We need to do better in our batting and our fielding going into the next game against Trinidad and Tobago. We had a good session this morning (Wednesday) and we will be approaching the game in a positive frame of mind.”

The Leewards arrived in Barbados at 11:00 Tuesday night when their initial departure from Antigua after 7:00 pm was aborted because of mechanical problems with the aircraft.

The pilot, after flying for a few minutes, returned to the VC Bird International for the necessary amendments and departed for Barbados approximately two hours later.

LEEWARDS SQUAD – Steve Liburd (captain), Mali Richards, Kieran Powell, Montcin Hodge, Elsroy Powell, Codville Rogers, Wilden Cornwall, Devon Thomas, Omari Banks, Anthony Martin, Justin Athanaze, Brent DeFreitas and  Lionel Baker.