St John’s, Antigua — Former West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman, Devon Thomas, has asked to be removed as one of 10 players contracted by the Leeward Islands Cricket Association (LICA) ahead of the WICB 2015 Professional Cricket League (PCL).
This was confirmed by coach of the Leeward Islands Franchise, Antiguan Reginald Benjamin, who said Thomas, wrote to the Board, asking that contract not be considered for renewal.
“I so wanted Devon to be a part of us because when you come and take a job you look at what it entails and stuff and when we picked the 10 (protected players) he was part of it. I know that players have a lot of grief going with the Board in the past so I promised all the players I’ll resolve their issues and he had an administrative issue. I told him I was going to resolve it,” he said.
“I went and got it sorted out and he was in the 10 and I was told that that he sent some communication and I read some of that communication saying he does not want to be a part of us. I was disappointed but sometimes you have to grant players their wish; you don’t want an unhappy player,” he added.
Thomas was amongst nine other players identified by LICA for professional contracts ahead of PCL Draft held in Barbados on Thursday.
The other protected players are Quinton Boatswain, Kacey Carty, Rahkeem Cornwall, Alzarri Joseph, Steve Liburd, Orlando Peters, Sherwin Peters, Jacques Taylor and Gavin Tonge.
Benjamin, a former national cricketer, believes Thomas would have erred in his decision to operate on a pay-by-play arrangement.
“Pay by play basis is not something that is good enough for somebody of Devon Thomas’s caliber. I don’t know who advised him on that but if he only plays two games and he only gets two match fees, it’s not going to come up to the level he needs it to be but the window is open for him to still be a part of our set-up,” the coach said.
LICA utilized Thursday’s opening draft pick to select left-handed batsman, Narsingh Deonarine, as they hope to boost their batting going into this year’s tournament.
“From last year when you looked at our batting, our batting was a bit weak and Narsingh has experience and I think he is a player that is hungry and wants to get back that higher level in West Indies cricket so I think we would be able to utilize him in that way and plus, our batting needs someone we could always build around, especially one through four and he fits the mold we are looking for,” Benjamin said.
LICA’s other Draft picks were Darren Cruickshank, Nelson Bolan, Colin Hamer and Shane Jeffers.