Passport blunder diverts Trott from road to Oman
Bermuda vice-captain Rodney Trott has fired a broadside at cricket’s national governing body after an administrative oversight meant that he could not travel to Oman for the ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League B.
Trott, who was promoted into the leadership position after impressing as a stand-in captain midway through the T20 World Cup Qualifier in Dubai last month, has been grounded because of a bureaucratic technicality, as his passport expires within six months of the team’s departure for the Middle East last weekend.
The Bailey’s Bay player, who learnt the bad news only last week, places the blame squarely at the door of the Bermuda Cricket Board.
“It is something that could have been avoided,” said Trott, who claims the BCB was in possession of his passport since Bermuda hosted the T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier in August.
“It’s disappointing because I’ve wasted my time with all the training, only to be told at the last minute that I can’t go.
“This could have been sorted out during the summer when we had the tournament.
“My passport is going to expire in the first week of March, but when you travel to countries like that your passport has to be valid for at least six months.
“I got away with it in Dubai and have been telling them [the BCB] since summer that I needed a new passport.
“Obviously, when they were doing the arrangements, Oman must have said to them that I need a new passport in order to be allowed in their country.
“This is what I’ve been telling the Bermuda Cricket Board since the summer, that my passport needs to be sorted out. I was told, ‘You’re going to be cool’, but I’m not cool.”
Cal Blankendal, the BCB executive director, provided an explanation when contacted by The Royal Gazette. “The board had offered to assist with British passport applications for all players, and those players who came in and provided the documentation to get their British passport received theirs with the assistance of the board,” he said.
“Those who did not come in or make an appointment to receive assistance did not. The board offered their services to assist those who required a British passport, knowing that there were multiple tournaments overseas where a European or UK passport would allow you to travel without having a visa.
“The responsibility of having a valid passport for travel is the responsibility of the passport holder, as they are the only ones who can make an application in person. There were others who asked for services and received theirs, and they have travelled.”
However, Trott believes he could have remedied the situation himself with greater clarity and urgency.
“I could have gotten a rushed passport in two or three days,” he said. “But I felt they are part responsible for me not having a new passport. If I had my passport, I could have got it renewed myself.
“I was told if I got a rushed passport, it would be good for only one year and then I would have to buy another passport.”
Trott’s place in the squad has been taken by Coolidge Durham, the Bay opening batsman, who at 38 is now in line to become the eldest Bermuda debutant of the modern era.
Trott was initially named as Terryn Fray’s vice-captain in the 15-man squad for the 50-overs format, with the team looking to bounce back after a disappointing time in Dubai, where Dion Stovell stood down as captain for personal reasons.
Bermuda lost all six of their matches, the last two of which were televised globally, but Trott came away with his reputation as a potential leader enhanced.
“I’ve been trying to instil something with the team over the last couple of weeks,” he said. “Now the team is upset because I’m not going — but imagine how I feel. I’m trying to give my all, but I’m the one who has the setback.
“This could have been prevented. I’ve been saying since the tournament in Bermuda in the summer that I needed a new passport. Even if I did have my passport, they [the BCB] could have figured out something with me to get it sorted out, especially because I’m travelling for my country.”
The CWC Challenge League B is the first of three overseas engagements, comprising 15 matches in total, that Bermuda will participate in as part of the restructuring of qualifying for the 2023 World Cup in India.
As a result, the 2018 qualifying tournament in Malaysia, which led to Bermuda being relegated to Division Five and the belated departure of Clay Smith as head coach, was invalidated.
Oman was chosen as the venue after the ICC withdrew from Hong Kong because of the political unrest in that country.
The initial phase of League B runs from December 2 to 12, with Bermuda’s first match coming against Hong Kong next Tuesday in the capital city of Muscat. Fixtures follow against Italy, Jersey, Kenya and Uganda.
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