Richardson leads Bermuda’s Under-19 World Cup charge
Dalin Richardson, of Western Stars, and Nzari Paynter, of St George’s, have been named as captain and vice-captain of the Bermuda Under-19 squad that will take on Canada and the United States in a World Cup Qualifier in Toronto next month.
Paynter is presently in school and is one of six players in the squad of 14 who are based in the UK, including 14-year-old Marcus Scotland. The others are Cameron Jeffers, Jabari Darrell, Solomon Burrows and Rudi Butterfield.
The tournament will be a double round robin competition starting on July 17 and will see the winners advancing to the 2018 U-19 World Cup in New Zealand. “This was a very difficult team to select, but I want to thank all the players for their efforts,” Smith said yesterday. “The team is fairly young, but very talented and I have no doubt they will put their best foot forward and represent Bermuda to the best of their ability and do us all proud.”
Scotland, a member of the Surrey County Age Group, recently scored 174 not out against Cambridgeshire, his second century in less than a week, and he will be a key member of the team as an opening batsmen and wicketkeeper despite being one of the youngest.
“I briefly talked to his father [Cleon Scotland] and we have three other wicketkeepers in this team and the balance of the team will depend on whether we utilise him as a ‘keeper or not,” Smith explained. “We do want to allow him the freedom to bat, and that to be primarily his job, but if one or two of our wicketkeepers aren’t doing a good job behind the stumps then we may have to utilise him and bring in another batsman.
“I saw him two years ago when we went over to England and I was very impressed with him then. I know he’s geared up and ready to go.”
Smith added: “We have six players currently in England, one flew back last night and the rest will be joining us in the near future prior to us leaving for Canada. This venture started July when the group went over to Houston as an Under-17 team to play against Canada and the USA. Then we got back together in the first week of January and have been working with them since January. Last year in Houston we were defeated but the good thing is we were able to get footage of the all the games and we know what they are going to bring to the table.
“It’s just a matter of us putting together a good game plan and hopefully the players are able to execute it. I would like to think we have grown in stature a lot since last July and hopefully we are able to close the gap.”
The official arrival date for the teams in Canada is July 15 but the Bermuda team will travel earlier in order to get acclimatised and to play a couple of practice games.
“I am very pleased with the intensity and quality of the preparation for this squad led by national coach Clay Smith,” said Lloyd Fray, the BCB president. “Bermuda first qualified for the U-19 World Cup ten years ago in Toronto so hopefully we will see history repeat itself this year.”
Local players include Alje Richardson and Jade Morrissey, of Somerset, Dean Simons, presently a loan player to St George’s from St David’s, Jaiden Manders, of Western Stars, and Nirobi Mills, of Bailey’s Bay. Mills is also a talented track and field athlete and will travel to Trinidad next week as part of a five-member Bermuda team for the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association Age Group Championships on June 17 and 18.
“He’s been balancing it [two commitments] and has done a very good job because he’s one of our regular trainers and very seldom misses a training session,” Smith said. “I don’t think it is going to impact him too much, he’s somebody you can count on to give 100 per cent when it comes to training and playing.”
Smith admits a good start will be vital. “The Board is allowing us to get over there early to play two practice games and it is going to allow us to gel,” the coach said.
“Hopefully, come game time against USA in the first game, it should put us in good stead to get off to a good start. The wickets out there are fabulous and the outfields extremely fast, so it will be a run feast and we have to make sure we have enough depth to bat and put up a good total.
“When we see how the players respond to the practice games, then we’ll sit down and decide whether we take the extra bat or extra bowler in the first game.”
Team: Dalin Richardson (capt), Nzari Paynter (vice capt), Alje Richardson (Somerset), Dean Simons (St David’s), Cameron Jeffers (UK), Jabari Darrell (UK), Jade Morrissey (Somerset), Marcus Scotland (Surrey, UK), Najiyah Raynor (Cleveland), Nirobi Mills (Bailey’s Bay), Q’Shai Darrell (Cleveland), Solomon Burrows (UK), Rudi Butterfield (UK), Jaiden Manders (Western Stars).
Standby players: Azar Morrissey (Somerset), Corey Burgess (PHC), Isaiah Greaves (UK), Jarryd Richardson (UK), Sancho Jackson (Bailey’s Bay), Tybraé Robinson (Cleveland), Ty-rique Smith (PHC), Kristian Singh.
Officials: Russell Richardson (manager), Clay Smith (head coach), Lorenzo Tucker (assistant coach), Reggie Tucker (assistant coach).
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