Scotland’s cricketers will receive West Indian experience during their historic Antigua training camp, with the presence of former international fast bowler Winston Benjamin as a coach.
Benjamin, who played 21 Test Matches and 85 One Day Internationals, will work with the Scotland squad from April 1st to 12th as they prepare for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers.
The former Windies seamer took 161 international and 476 first-class wickets in his playing career. Since retiring in 1999, he has transitioned into one of the premier coaches in the region and has experience coaching the Leeward Islands Hurricanes franchise and Antigua national teams.
Benjamin has played an integral part in developing Antiguan youth cricketers over the last decade, with the most notable being the work he has done with West Indies’ premier fast-bowler, Alzarri Joseph.
He sees this camp and some of the Scottish players’ subsequent involvement in the Cool & Smooth T20 as an excellent opportunity for him to expand his coaching experience and for the local players to get valuable practice against high-level opposition.
“I’m very excited to work with the Scotland team during their camp here in Antigua,” said Benjamin. “As a coach, it is important to be able to work with players from different backgrounds.
“It’s a chance for me to not only teach them a thing or two about our conditions, but also expand my own knowledge base and experience. As a part of the camp, young Antiguans will get an opportunity to play against international grade opposition as well, so it’s a win-win situation in my eyes.”
The Antiguan-born 58-year-old also highlighted the importance of the tour for the Scotland cricketers, stating that this experience would be a “once in a lifetime trip” for each player, which would never be forgotten.
“Antigua is a beautiful place, with so much to offer, even off the cricket field. For the Scotland players, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am only hoping to do my part to add to that experience.”
Toby Bailey, Cricket Scotland’s Interim Head of Performance, has expressed his excitement about working with Benjamin and the benefits his experience can have on the players.
“We’re delighted to welcome Winston to our training camp,” said Bailey.
“To have a coach possessing such vast international experience working with our players is priceless, and his knowledge of local conditions should serve the squad well during their time in Antigua.
“Our new Interim Head Coach Doug Watson will not arrive until April 8, so Winston’s presence and guidance will be crucial in ensuring this camp provides us with the best possible preparation for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier.”
Benjamin will begin his role with Scotland when they arrive on April 1, ahead of participation from eight squad members in the Cool and Smooth T20 later that month.