A final word from our man in Dubai
While I expected more from Bermuda on the pitch after they saw off what was a highly impressive United States that toured the United Arab Emirates before the Americas qualifiers, you have to put their place in this tournament into perspective from a playing front.
They were competing against the best of the best in Associate cricket, with most teams thoroughly professional in terms of player contracts, a wealth of qualified staff and also their approach to the game both on matchdays and off-days. And for the majority, I was impressed with how they went about their business, but clearly there are some bad eggs in this side.
A member of the Scotland staff was told by one Bermuda official that the way to beat them was to tell the team there was a club night on and that half the team wouldn’t turn up.
Other players were seen shovelling hardly healthy food into them at the hotel, while training almost always seemed optional.
I can’t speak to Dion Stovell’s personal problems, but I can speak to his attitude and, at times, it didn’t embody that of a captain.
It was summed up against Scotland, where he came off the pitch laughing, out for yet another low score, joking with the banned Deunte Darrell — like you’ve won the game at the end of it — and rarely cutting the figure of a leader.
Contrast that to Rodney Trott, who spoke passionately once he stepped into the role and had clearly been trying to inspire some change in his side. It was night and day.
Also, Delray Rawlins is clearly an absolute gun in this team, but, again, he should be setting standards for those around him, and his team-mates should be looking to learn from him at every opportunity. While Delray was always training, always putting in the work, you felt that there was a discord between him and his team-mates that if management could have bridged it, then things could have been different.
Kamau Leverock is another who has so much talent, so much potential, but one look at his social media and you worry that he will never have the right people around him to steer him in the right direction.
The Darrell incident, after which Herbie Bascome said there had been no problems from his players on and off the pitch, also showed that there seemed to be a lack of awareness from some players that they are representing their nation on an international stage. That management didn’t seem to hold him to account is also a concern.
There is real talent in this team, but it felt like they had already done their job by getting to this stage, rather than truly testing themselves and laying everything on the line to get to the next.
Maybe it’s unfair to expect professional attitudes from an amateur side, but I have seen a great deal of Associate cricketers in this same situation use it as a means to inspire themselves, their team-mates and their countrymen and women back home.
They needed players to stand up, be counted and challenge those around them that saw this as a jolly. Bermuda didn’t.
Overall, I think there is so much to be learnt from this experience, so much opportunity to use it to take Bermudian cricket to the next level. You just worry whether anything will be learnt at all.
• Barny Read is a freelance cricket writer who is based in Dubai and has extensive experience covering Associate cricket, Cricket World Cup, the Indian Premier League and international series in the United Arab Emirates featuring Pakistan. He covered the Bermuda team for The Royal Gazette during the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier in the UAE
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