Pair selected despite BCB appeal
St David’s: Justin Pitcher (captain), Lionel Cann (vice captain), OJ Pitcher, Delyone Borden, Macai Simmons, Shannon Rayner, Ijuan Smith, Dean Simons, Brian Hall, Rudell Pitcher, Chare Smith. Reserves: Oni Smith, Janiell Carlington, Aaron Paynter, Shaquille Roberts.
Cleveland: Steven Bremar (captain), Makai Young (vice captain), Dennis Musson, Q’Shai Darrell, Kioshi Trott, Lamar Talbot, Najiyah Raynor, Curtis Jackson, Jelani Richardson, Shaki Darrell, Tybrae Robinson (colt). Reserves: Christian Singh, Keith Whorms, Byon Robinson, Zeri Tomlinson.
St David’s have named two Bermuda players, captain Justin Pitcher and Macai Simmons, in their team for the Eastern Counties Cup second round against challengers Cleveland at Lord’s today
The news comes as the challengers sprung a big surprise of their own in overlooking St George’s Cup Match fast bowler Mackih McGowan, while recalling a player last seen bringing the game into disrepute four years ago.
The Royal Gazette reported this week that the Bermuda Cricket Board had asked the county rivals not to select national team players ahead of Bermuda’s opening match in the ICC T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier against the United States tomorrow.
“I got word from the skipper [Pitcher] that he talked to the coach and that Herbie had given them his permission [to play],” said George Cannonier, the coach of St David’s. “That’s my understanding.
“Our team would have been weakened tremendously with those two missing. They both played a big part in the first game.”
St David’s made two changes from the team that drew with Bailey’s Bay in the first round, with Chare Smith and Dean Simons coming in to replace Cejay Outerbridge and Oronde Bascome, who informed the club he was not available.
“With Oronde missing, we felt we needed the extra batsman,” Cannonier explained. “We would have been weakened tremendously with both of them [Pitcher and Simmons] missing.”
Pitcher will lead the team for only the second time in the counties, with vice-captain Lionel Cann, Delyone Borden, OJ Pitcher and Shannon Rayner providing the experience in the batting.
“We don’t take any team for granted when it comes to county,” Cannonier said.
Smith, who made his debut in the final last year against Cleveland at Sea Breeze Oval, gets a recall and will likely share the new ball.
“He wasn’t very successful last year so we’re hoping for something from him in this game,” Cannonier said.
“He just needs to get used to the atmosphere, he’s got a lot of potential. He has all the attributes of a good all-round player.”
Smith has roots in Devil’s Hole, his grandfather being Robert Simons, the former Cleveland opening bowler.
Cleveland’s surprises include all-rounder Shaki Darrell, who was given the all-clear by the Eastern Counties Cricket Association having served all but two of a 14-game ban.
The player was punished for using threatening behaviour towards the officials during the controversial drawn match with Cleveland at Lord’s in 2015.
He recently played a few games for Cleveland to put himself in contention.
“They had a meeting and after it had taken place, that’s what the outcome was,” Curtis Jackson, the Cleveland player-coach, said about Darrell’s surprise inclusion.
McGowan was omitted despite training with the team all week. “I guess they feel I put too much of my effort trying to make Cup Match, that’s what it seems like,” said the fast bowler, who was a colt for St George’s. “It seems to be a misunderstanding between us.
“I played against Rangers the other day, but I guess they feel I haven’t played enough with them. “I’m still a Cleveland fan and wish us the best.
Najiyah Raynor, who now plays for Southampton Rangers in the league, was recalled after making his county debut in 2017.
Tybrae Robinson, a left-arm seamer who recently represented Bermuda at the ICC Under-19 World Cup Americas Qualifier, will be the only colt in the match.
“Last year, with the team we had, nobody thought we would beat Bailey’s Bay,” said Jackson when asked about his team’s chances of upsetting the holders.
“It comes down to the day and who wants it the most.
“We’re up to the challenge, we’re not going to lie down, that’s for sure.
“We have enough bowlers in our side, it’s just a matter of us coming to the game with our plan and sticking to the plan.”
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