Outerbridge back for Bermuda
Stephen Outerbridge has returned to the Bermuda set-up for the first time in five years, the only change to the team for the trip to Malaysia this month for the World Cricket League Division Four tournament.
Outerbridge, who was captain when he last represented his country in 2013, replaces Temiko Wilson in the 14-man squad, with Bailey’s Bay team-mate Terryn Fray named as captain for the 50-over tournament against Malaysia, Denmark, Uganda, Vanuatu and Jersey.
Fray was Dion Stovell’s vice-captain for the T20 Sub Regional Qualifier in Argentina in February and March and now the roles have now been reversed.
Outerbridge was unavailable for the recent tour because of work commitments, but Fray and head coach Clay Smith have welcomed him back into the fold, with his experience providing a boost to the early batting.
“In Argentina it was a T20 tournament but this is a 50-over tournament and we always knew that Stephen would come into the team because he has vast experience,” Smith said. “It was just a matter of trying to strike a balance as to what was needed and we felt we were happy with the bowlers on that tour; we just needed an extra batsman.”
Fray said: “Stephen brings another level of experience to the team which we definitely do need, especially in our batting. He’ll slot in at four or five and give an extra bit of depth to our middle order.
“The team that we have now is pretty strong, especially seeing some of the performances in Argentina when we played really well and the togetherness was there.”
Fray’s appointment comes in the absence of OJ Pitcher, who remains unavailable because of health issues. It is a new responsibility for him, as he does not captain his club.
“Rodney [Trott] is captain of Bailey’s Bay and does an excellent job,” Fray said. “I’m definitely looking forward to this tour, which will be my first 50-over tour as captain. I know the expectations are high, but I trust in all my players and feel we have each other’s back. We fight hard for each other and we’ll fight hard for our country also.
“Stephen is a great individual outside the game also, so him fitting in won’t be an issue. I’m confident that we have a team that can win this tournament outright, though it’s not going to be easy. These guys can play cricket, some of the teams have players who play in pro leagues so they are definitely going to come ready to play.”
Smith, who believes the team’s strength is posting targets, feels an early start in the round-robin tournament is vital if Bermuda are to claim one of the two promotion spots into Division 3. Matches will be held from April 28 to May 6, with Bermuda’s first match against Denmark. “We look to score early in the power play and will definitely go with Terryn and Kamau up top, it is something that worked for us in the last couple of games we played,” the coach said.
“Then you have guys like Tre [Manders], Dion, Stephen and Janeiro who can bat three, four, five and six. Then you will have players like Stephen Bremar and Macai Simmons who will be battling for a place in the team.
“Then there is [wicketkeeper] Okera Bascome as well. We have a nucleus of good players, it is just a matter of striking a balance and making sure we have players down the order who can come in and keep the score ticking over late in the innings. Guys like Kwasi James, Charles Trott and Jacobi Robinson call all hold the bat so our batting can go right down to ten.”
The Bermuda team will leave on April 19 and are hoping to have some practice matches arranged prior to the start of the tournament.
Lloyd Smith, the BCB president, is confident the team will be contenders for one of the promotion spots. “I’m proud of the work that the players who have been selected have continued to put into the training programme that the coaching team has provided since winning the regional T20 Qualifiers last month, the president said.
“The squad has many young players supplemented with some very experienced players, which augurs well for the future of Bermuda cricket. I’m encouraging all of Bermuda to support our squad unreservedly and I wish the players and support staff all the best for the tournament.”
Squad: Terryn Fray (captain), Dion Stovell (vice captain), Janeiro Tucker, Steven Bremar, Okera Bascome, Charles Trott, Stephen Outerbridge, Kwasi James, Kamau Leverock, Jacobi Robinson, Macai Simmons, Cejay Outerbridge, Chare Smith, Tre Manders. Standby: Jordan Smith, Zeko Burgess, Cameron Jeffers.
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