He’s previously played with cricketing greats like David Gower and Viv Richards and coached top level players like Alzarri Joseph – but now Winston Benjamin is very much enjoying his time with Scotland’s Men’s squad during their time in Antigua.
Benjamin, who played 21 Test Matches and 85 One Day Internationals for the West Indies, is assisting with coaching the Scots until April 12 as they prepare for June’s ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers.
“I am very much looking forward to working with the squad,” the former fast bowler who took 161 international and 476 first-class wickets said ahead of this week’s training camp.
“It is warm here, I think they must hydrate themselves properly, but if they do that then I think the Scotland players will take a lot out of working in these conditions.
“Coaching is something that I always wanted to do. I had a spell with the Leeward Islands Hurricanes franchise and that was very informative, life changing in a way.
“Over the years coaching has changed and it is always evolving, but I am a very keen student of the game, I am still learning and as well as the Scotland guys learning from me I also want to learn from them during this period that we spend together.
“These guys might not have the same experience as players from the top, top nations in the world, but cricket is a sport that is all about belief.
“You have to believe that you can get the job done when it comes to certain situations in matches. Even though you might not have played as much cricket, in that moment you have to have self belief and confidence and I am working with the boys to try and help them with that.
“Nothing beats getting out onto the grass with players and seeing what their individual strengths are. It’s good to get to know them as people too and, hopefully, I can help them to take their game to the next level as they prepare for the challenges ahead.
“I know how good some of these players are already because I watched on TV as they beat the West Indies in the T20 World Cup last year. That was tough to take at the time, but seriously it showed how much potential there is within the Scottish players and I am very much looking forward to this spell working closely with them.
“Antigua is such a great place, and a friendly place where the boys have received a warm welcome. I think they will enjoy this area – which is cricket mad – when they are away from training too.”
After this block of training, a number of the Scotland squad members will be staying on and playing in the local Cool and Smooth T20 event locally.
Last year’s winners Liberta Blackhawks are set to be in the event running from April 12 alongside the Bethesda Golden Eagles, New Winthorpes Lions, Empire Nation, Bolans Blasters, Pigotts Crushers, Jennings Tigers and All Saints Pythons.
The Cool and Smooth T20 event is getting better and better each year and it’ll be a great exercise for the boys who are going to be involved in it,” 58-year-old Benjamin concluded.
Interim Scotland Men’s Head Coach Doug Watson will link up with Benjamin and the players on April 10.