The Barbados Cricket Association might currently have issues with middle-order batsman Kirk Edwards.
But not so his teammates.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY the talented 29-year-old right-hander expressed his delight at Barbados’ victory in the regional 50-over tournament just concluded in Trinidad and Tobago. Edwards also stated he was touched by the sentiments of his teammates after being expelled from the squad in the twin-island republic by the team’s management.
“I felt good for the team. I was happy to see the team ethos that I was trying to build during my tenure as captain come true. Despite not being there I was overcome with joy for the fellows,” Edwards said.
He added: “I heard the captain say this victory is for Kirk but each time the team wins a regional competition it is a victory for the people of Barbados and the fellows. That is why I enjoyed leading them.”
Edwards said he was very touched by a message he received from fast bowler Jason Holder on Sunday which stated:”You were not here but we did it for you.”
“It was very humbling”, Edwards said.
Edwards was also elated that he has been included in the West Indies One-Day International squad which will oppose Ireland in Jamaica on Sunday.
“I am happy that the West Indies selectors have shown faith in me. I am grateful that they have given me the opportunity to continue to represent the people of the region,” Edwards said.
Edwards, a former West Indies vice-captain stressed that he considered it a privilege to represent the regional side and he always did so with pride because of the joy cricket brought to the masses of the Caribbean.
“I would love to play a role in the revival of West Indies cricket. The game is very important to the people of the region, there are very passionate about it. That is why I will always be committed to the game,” he noted.
Edwards, who captained the West Indies “A” team on the last tour of India and received a glowing report from WICB president Dave Cameron, explained that he always wanted to be a West Indian cricketer and recalled being at Kensington Oval as a teenager hours before the start of first-class and Test matches, selling cricket books and magazines for Bobby Goodman’s Sports Shop.
“I have always wanted to be a cricketer and have represented Barbados and the West Indies with pride and will continue to do so whenever I am given the opportunity,” he said.
On the question of possible future leadership, Edwards stated that he has been captaining teams from an early age and has been successful in all age groups.
“I have been a successful captain at the regional level and with the West Indies “A” team and as vice captain of the regional team. I am looking forward to playing a leadership role at any level in the future,” Edwards said.
He explained that leadership was more that captaining a team on the field but was also related to how players were treated.
“If the players are shown respect by the captain then it is much easier to manage them. The key to leading a team is to mold them into a family-like unit. It is not about shouting at them but showing respect,” he stated.
Edward said he was not letting the current impasse between the Barbados Cricket Association and himself get him down.
“My mind is in a good place, I am focused on getting the job done.”
He added that the situation was not an easy one and he expressed thanks to his family and friends who had stood by him during the impasse with the BCA.
“My support system is strong – my wife, parents and friends have stood by me,” Edwards said.
Edwards will be entering this Sunday with only net practice behind him having last played serious cricket on the tour to New Zealand where he scored his maiden ODI century.