Romaine upbeat despite lack of preparation
Irving Romaine has warned Bermuda must not focus on their less than ideal preparations before their Cricket World Cup Challenge League B opener in Oman today.
Drawn alongside Hong Kong, Italy, Jersey, Kenya and Uganda, in the tournament, which is the start of qualification to the World Cup in 2023, Bermuda face Hong Kong at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground today.
Despite conceding their preparations have not gone to plan, Romaine, who is acting as team manager, expects Bermuda to give a good account of themselves against an opponent who beat them by 24 runs in an ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier warm-up in Dubai in October.
“The feeling among the camp is really good. The team has trained really hard and they’re all ready to get going and play the first game,” Romaine said.
“The only major issue for us has been the preparation, which hasn’t been ideal. This will be our first 50-overs game in quite some time. We definitely would have loved to have had some warm-up games because for a while now in Bermuda all of our focus has been on T20 cricket.
“A lot of the other teams have had warm-up matches and longer time in Oman to prepare, but the squad are in good spirits and we’ll do what we can.
“It purely came down to logistics in the end. We had planned to head to Malaysia ahead of the tournament, but that didn’t come off, but it’s happened now, we have to react and be the best team that we can. The staff have done all they can to prepare giving the batsmen and bowlers as much time in the nets as possible, all of our training has been focused as close to 50 overs as we can.
“Despite the less than ideal 50-overs preparation, I’m not expecting a slow start from the guys. They are all strong cricketers, I fully expect them to get their heads down and get stuck in from the get go.”
Between now and 2021 there will be 90 matches played in League A and League B for qualification to the World Cup Qualifier 2022, with each team playing 15 games as they battle for points to move on to the Qualifier Play-off, the ICC World Cup League 2 in 2022.
Romaine has warned Bermuda’s rivals not to underestimate them, believing if everyone is on song, they can prevail against anyone in Oman.
“We can’t compare our preparation with other teams, but we have some seasoned players including the likes of Delray Rawlins and Kamau Leverock which is a huge boost, as well as a squad full of extremely strong cricketers,” Romaine added.
“We have played the other teams before and although we are up against it from the start, realistically I believe we are good enough to compete against anyone out here. If the squad all play to their full potential there is no reason why we can’t beat everyone we play.”
Romaine cast his eye over the tournament’s opener yesterday as Uganda secured a 25-run victory over Jersey. As well as serving as invaluable insight into their rivals, it also gave the former national team captain great renewed optimism of Bermuda’s prospects with the bat.
“We picked up a few things from the first match, particularly about the wicket and batting totals,” he said. “We have a number of very strong batsmen and we should be able to put up some good scores. We have some big hitters and from what we’ve seen 230 to 240 seems about a par score.”
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