Big attraction Leverock to miss All-Star match
The first All-Star Classic on Saturday will be missing the season’s most explosive Twenty20 batsman with Kamau Leverock, of Somerset Cricket Club, set to fly to England later that night.
Leverock delighted the crowds during this shortened season with some explosive batting, hitting two centuries and a 75 not out last weekend against Willow Cuts. His batting would have been a big attraction at White Hill Field where the President and Vice-President XIs will play in the First and Premier Division matches starting at 11am and 3pm.
“He was supposed to leave yesterday [Tuesday] but the flight was cancelled, so he had to rearrange his flight for Saturday,” explained his uncle, Dwayne Leverock, a former Bermuda spinner, who is the new chairman of selectors at the Bermuda Cricket Board.
“If he was here until the following week then he definitely would have played.”
Zeko Burgess, of Bailey’s Bay, whose 129 against St George’s is the highest individual score in the Premier Division this season, is also not playing as he is recovering from knee surgery.
The Board is using the match as an opportunity to assess players who might sometimes be overlooked for Bermuda.
“Years ago, I used to say that we need an A team like other countries so that we can have as many players as possible in the pool as Bermuda doesn’t have a large pool,” Leverock said.
“If we can get enough players to be a part of the A team then this is a good thing. It gives us the opportunity to see players who have been on the fringes. This is an opportunity for those players who don’t always get a look-in, to show them that we are looking at them.”
Players from Southampton Rangers and St David’s have not been included as the two teams will be involved in a title decider against each other the next day at White Hill Field.
“It’s a league match, but it’s being treated as a final and they wanted to make sure they had their best players available and not risk injuries,” Cal Blankendal, the BCB chief executive, said.
“Because they are playing on Sunday in a very important match, it gives others the chance to be a part of the All-Star match. I was taught many years ago that the best players on the day are the ones who are available to play in your team. Hopefully any inclement weather from storms heading our way doesn’t hinder the final weekend’s activities.”
Somerset, whose captain Jordan DeSilva will lead the President’s team, have six players involved in the match, while St George’s have seven.
Their captain, Onias Bascome, will lead the Vice-President’s team. Jeff Richardson and Dexter Basden will coach the President’s team and Ricky Brangman and Irving Romaine the Vice-President’s side.
The First Division President’s team will be captained by Cofield Robinson, of Flatts Victoria, while Joshua Gilbert, of Somerset Bridge, will lead the Vice-President’s XI.
Lorenzo Tucker and Shane Hollis will coach the President’s team and Del Hollis and Curtis Jackson the Vice-President’s team.
Steven Douglas, new chairman of the BCB cricket committee, is encouraged by some of the performances seen in the shorter version of the game this season.
“You can’t make wholesome changes immediately, you have to see how things are run first,” said Douglas, who is also president of the Eastern Counties Cricket Association and a top umpire.
“You have to get buy-in from the clubs first, so whatever we do the clubs have to want to do it. If they don’t support it in the initial stages then it is doomed to fail.
“This [All-Star] game is one of the things we wanted to do as a committee, to get more players involved. I always felt that there are a lot of fringe players who would never get an opportunity.
“But there are a lot of guys from my seat as an umpire who I thought deserved an opportunity to be looked at. This type of game will allow guys to showcase themselves.”
Douglas is hoping cricket can return to some degree of normalcy next year, the summer game suffering major interruptions with the cancellations of the Cup Match and Eastern Counties Cup for the first time.
“We have to see what is allowed by the country and decide how we’re going to approach all our cricket next year,” Douglas said.
The crowd will again be restricted to 325 with a $5 admission.
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