Dubai will not be a vacation, says Smith
The Bermuda cricket team depart today for a six-day stop in Dubai, before heading to Malaysia for the World Cricket League Divsion Four tournament, which starts next weekend.
Bermuda, captained by Terryn Fray, will play three practice matches before the challenge of securing promotion to Division Three begins on Sunday, April 29, with their opening match in the round robin tournament against Denmark.
Coach Clay Smith is keen to get the work started, with the squad boosted by the four English-based players, Kamau Leverock, Okera Bascome, Chare Smith and Tre Manders, who will join the team in the UAE.
“We’ve been doing some work outside at Berkeley and some fielding sessions at the National Stadium so it’s coming together,” Smith said. “Obviously being in Bermuda, there are so many distractions that it is always hard to get all of your players together with work commitments and family. So I’m looking forward to getting all of these guys together off the island and we’re 100 per cent focused on cricket.
“That week in Dubai is going to be critical to us, obviously getting on some turf wickets and playing, so we’re going to have to maximise that to the best of our ability. We have to make sure our batsmen get into some good form prior to going to Malaysia.
“The England-based players will join us, we’ll have our full squad together and then we can start thinking about what our batting order is going to look like and bowling combinations.
“We’ll put it all together in Dubai and tinker with a couple of ideas just to make sure we get it right leading up to Malaysia.”
Bermuda will play Denmark and Uganda in their first two matches before playing Jersey, Vanuatu and hosts Malaysia in their remaining group matches. Vanuatu is an island located in the South Pacific, 1,090 miles east of northern Australia.
“Vanautu have to be a good team because they had to beat Italy, who were in Division Four last year, to come up,” Smith stressed. “I did my research on them and know they had six or seven players who went over to Australia for the winter to get some experience, so they aren’t going to be pushovers.
“They are coming to make a statement. Everybody is going to be tough, if you don’t play to your potential then any one of these teams are capable of beating you on the day.
“We have to be very focused and can’t look past any team. Look at a team like Uganda, who were in Division Two and now they are in Division Four, which just shows how much competition there is between Division Two and Division Four.
“It’s very tight and you have to be ready to execute. It’s about respecting every team and looking to play to our full potential. We have a very good balance of players and if we play to our potential I don’t see any reason why we can’t be successful.”
Former captain Stephen Outerbridge is the only change to the Bermuda squad which toured Argentina recently, replacing Temiko Wilson. It will be his first time in Bermuda colours since 2013.
• The new season starts this weekend with Open cricket being held over the first three weekends, when matches are played on Saturdays and Sunday. First Division matches will start on Saturday with three matches while the Premier Division will start on Sunday, with St David’s taking on Bailey’s Bay at Lord’s, Southampton Rangers playing St George’s at home and Somerset hosting Western Stars.
In the First Division, PHC meet Somerset Bridge at PHC Field while Devonshire Rec play Cleveland at St David’s and Warwick take on Willow Cuts at Southampton Oval.
Early changes to the schedule will see Somerset’s matches against Stars on Sunday and St George’s next weekend switched from Sea Breeze Oval to Somerset after the club informed the Bermuda Cricket Board that their wicket is ready.
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.
April 29: Bermuda v Denmark
April 30: Bermuda v Uganda
May 2: Bermuda v Jersey
May 3: Bermuda v Vanuatu
May 5: Bermuda v Malaysia
May 6: Play-off matches
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