Written by Neto Baptiste Posted On: Thursday, 06 April 2017
Coach of the Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Reginald Benjamin, has been sent on forced vacation by the Leeward Islands Cricket Board (LICB) and will be replaced by former West Indies and Leeward Islands batsman Stuart Williams, for the team’s two remaining matches in the West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) Regional 4-Day tournament.
President of the LICB and Antiguan Enoch Lewis, confirmed that Benjamin will not coach in the team’s remaining matches, a decision he said, was taken during a board of directors meeting on Tuesday night.
“When we looked at what he has in terms of vacation, it approximates to the remaining [time] on his contract and what the board is saying [is that] based on recent developments, it makes no sense the coach works until the end of the term and then you still owe him vacation,” he said.
“Like any good organisation you look at your expiring contracts, in most cases, 90 days or 60 days before they expire because you want to ensure that when you move forward in terms of dealing with your contracts you don’t have a situation where you are bound by anything that’s left in that contract,” he added.
Lewis went on to confirm that Williams will head the coaching staff for the remaining matches against Guyana Jaguars starting April 7, and T&T Red Force starting April 15.
“We have two games left and for those two games we are going to ask Stuart if he is available and if he is not available then we will look at an option but it would certainly not be Vernon Springer. We have other experienced coaches, but I think Stuart’s stint with the West Indies Cricket Board and the experience he would have gained from doing that puts him in good stead to be able to operate and manage these two games for us,” the president said.
Ironically, the development comes less than a week after news that Benjamin’s lawyer had written to the board claiming match fees he believes are due to him.
The president has however denied that the board’s decision is in retaliation to the coach’s actions.
“He has employed the services of a lawyer and you don’t want to go outside of that so to sit down with him one-on-one at this time, we just think the process should have been reversed where we would have sat down and if anything didn’t get worked out then the lawyer [would have] come into being,” Lewis said.
“As it is right now, we have a situation where he has employed the services of a lawyer and we’re uncomfortable sitting down at this time and having that discussion,” he added.
Leeward Islands are currently second from bottom in the 4-Day standings with 66.4 points, just slightly ahead of T&T Red Force with 63.8 points.
Guyana Jaguars lead the competition with 109.8 points ahead of Barbados Pride on 99.2 points.
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