Sunga puts a brave face on late exclusion
Bermuda Under-19 squad
(to play in Under-19 Cricket World Cup Americas Qualifier in Toronto, Canada): Dalin Richardson (captain), Jaiden Manders (vice-captain), Jabari Darrell, Keith Whorms Jr, Sharye Paynter, Tybrae Robinson, Logan Jones, Ori Wilson, Isaiah Greaves, Jarryd Richardson, Tai Cariah, Nirobi Smith-Mills, Sancho Jackson, Jamar Stovel. Officials: Russell Richardson (manager), Arnold Manders (head coach), Calvin Waldron (assistant coach), Lorenzo Tucker (analyst)
Canada (July 8)
United States (July 9)
Cayman Islands (July 11)
Argentina (July 12)
• All matches start at 11.30am Bermuda time
The Bermuda team for the Under-19 Cricket World Cup Americas Qualifier in Canada suffered a late change this week when Bermudian-born Kevin Sunga, who is of Filipino heritage, had to withdraw because of immigration issues.
The 17-year-old was preparing to depart today with the team, only to be ruled out because he does not have a Bermuda passport, although he does have a birth certificate. Logan Jones, the 16-year-old Flatts leg spinner, has come in as Sunga’s replacement in the 14-man squad that is captained by Dalin Richardson.
“He’s a born Bermudian, but if he leaves he won’t be able to get back into Bermuda,” head coach Arnold Manders said yesterday during the team’s final training session at the National Sports Centre.
Sunga was there and participated in the session, but left early after wishing the team good luck.
“He was our No 1 wicketkeeper, but we have an adequate replacement,” Manders added. “We’ve had a lot of issues, but it’s nothing we can’t deal with.
“Logan is a leg spinner and potential middle-order batsman, and he is eligible for the next tournament as well. He just heard [about his inclusion] last night, which was our deadline.
“They have been improving every week and if they can play to the best of their ability, we have a chance. Whoever makes the most mistakes on the day is usually the team that loses.”
Manders, who was the director of cricket in 2007 in Canada when Bermuda, coached by brother Andre, beat the host nation to qualify for the World Cup for the first time.
Rodney Trott, of Bailey’s Bay, was the captain of the team that went to Malaysia for the World Cup in early 2008.
Manders made it quite clear to the squad members that his mission is simple: win the qualifier. “Our attitude will determine our altitude,” Manders told the players during a presentation inside the North Field pavilion.
“If they can just follow all our batting and bowling plans, team plans and execute them to the best of their ability, the sky is the limit,” Manders said. “We have some experience but most of the squad is young, 15, 16, although for some of them this is their second tournament.
“We still have at least ten of them who will be available for the next tournament. I’m expecting some good things from them. If our older players play to their full potential and the younger ones can follow, we have a chance of beating Canada and United States.
“However, we don’t have any leeway for making mistakes because we haven’t played together as a team as much as they have. I don’t have a problem with them hitting the boundaries, but rotating the strike and picking up singles.
“We’ve had some quality practice sessions this week, although on Monday we had to make all our presentations because it was raining and we were only able to get out on the field for about a half-hour.”
Manders hopes something will be learnt from watching the senior World Cup matches on television, seeing how teams do things like build an innings and bowl under pressure.
“We watched it on Monday,” he said. “We started at 9am and most of them were by 8.30, so by the time we got out on the field they had already seen at least an hour and a half.”
Bermuda will play Canada, the US, Argentina and Cayman Islands in a round-robin tournament that was initially supposed to have each team playing one another twice. Now they will play one round of matches between July 8 and 14, starting on Monday with Bermuda taking on Canada and then facing on the US on Tuesday.
“It was changed three times, the format, the times the dates,” Manders said. “We were supposed to play each team twice but that was changed to the top three playing again in a play-off. Now it has been changed again — just one team goes through. Canada should be the strongest because they have the resources and have been playing a lot.
“We’ll give it our best shot and hopefully we’ll get to South Africa next year.”
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