Clay Smith represented Bermuda's national cricket team for more than 18 years, skippering the side that qualified for the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean. A current national team selector, Smith scored centuries for Bermuda in the Red Stripe Cup in the West Indies against Windward Island and Jamaica. He also represented the Island in four ICC Trophies Domestically, he initially played his club cricket at St George's before moving to St David's as a player/coach. He also coached Cleveland and his boyhood club St George's. Smith was a regular for St George's in Cup Match and captained the East Enders to victory in the 1997 edition of the annual Classic.
Aug 29, 2014 8:00 am
Tomorrow “the mighty Flatts” will try to dethrone Cleveland County in the final of the Eastern Counties Cup. Flatts will attempt to do what Cleveland did against St David’s and end a drought that goes beyond 30 years without the trophy.
If Cleveland have learnt anything from this Eastern Counties series, it is not to take your opponents lightly because cricket is a game played on the field and not on paper. On paper, Cleveland have a...
Aug 22, 2014 8:00 am
This past week has been very interesting having to listen to some of the Bailey’s Bay fans who feel they were robbed or denied the chance of winning the Eastern Counties Cup because of the rain.
The word from the Bay fans is that rain saved Cleveland, but did it really save us or did it save them?
It has been rather interesting listening to various people’s thoughts on how the game would have concluded. The reality is that the...
Aug 15, 2014 8:00 am
I cannot believe Eastern Counties is here again so fast. It seems like just yesterday that we (Cleveland) were ending a 33-year wait to win the trophy, but now the task of holding on to the cup is a major challenge.
Such is the task that I have been having sleepless nights trying to plan and make sure the game plan for Bailey’s Bay is spot on. This is a massive challenge for my Cleveland team, but we are ready, as we know Bailey’s Bay...
Aug 8, 2014 8:00 am
The one thing I learnt from Cup Match 2014 is that Bermuda cricket has hope, providing we continue to get our best young players playing in England. What Bermuda witnessed this Cup Match was three young players coming of age, showing that they can not only play, but excel at the highest level of cricket in Bermuda.
It was a pleasure to watch Terryn Fray, Tre Manders and Delray Rawlins show our senior players how to bat in the recent Cup...
Jul 30, 2014 8:00 am
All the talk is over; Cup Match is finally here.
Looking at the two teams, this year’s match should be very entertaining. There has been a lot of talk about the St George’s team, while Somerset surprised many by dropping one of their more reliable and proven senior players, Stephen Outerbridge.
Many feel that Somerset have a team that could easily keep the cup, but St George’s definitely believe otherwise, as they have picked a...
Jul 25, 2014 8:00 am
Several years ago I walked into Cleveland County Cricket Club as head coach and promised them that in three years we would win the Eastern Counties Cup. Unfortunately, after two years I returned to St George’s before taking an extended break from cricket, thus leaving a void of not fulfilling a promise that would eat away at me inside.
Upon returning to Bermuda this summer, Carlton “Pluke” Smith, the Cleveland president, approached me...
Jul 18, 2014 8:00 am
Over the years of playing and coaching cricket I have come across few cricketers with such love and passion for the game as Jason Anderson.
Jason is a student of the game and loves the game so much that you can often find him engaged in deep conversations about cricket.
Jason started his cricket as a youngster at St George’s Cricket Club. Later he would go on to play Cup Match for St George’s and then represent Bermuda. This...
Jul 11, 2014 8:00 am
By Clay Smith
We have reached the halfway mark of the cricket season and clearly St David’s look a sure bet to win the league, but today I want to look at the good, the bad and the ugly of the first half of the season.
As we all know Cup Match is around the corner and several players will be contesting for places. Throughout the first half of the season some players easily stood out with their performances.
Jul 4, 2014 8:00 am
By Clay Smith
Somerset Cricket Club and St George’s Cricket Club have less than a month before the annual Cup Match classic.
Today I’ll look at both teams to see which players should be worried about their place on the team as well as those who are pushing for a claim.
Also, the topic of club politics has players buzzing with anticipation of what’s to come from this year’s team selections.
For the past two years,...
Jun 27, 2014 8:00 am
Somerset and St George’s Cup Match teams will be picked next month after both teams have held several trial matches.
How significant are the trials and do they all carry the same weight or is the last trial match the main focal point for the selectors?
Will Cup Match ever see the best players playing or will politics always have a place when it comes to selecting teams?
Having been a former Cup Match captain and selector...
Jun 20, 2014 8:00 am
By Clay Smith
St David’s look invincible, but with Cup Match and Bermuda matches on the horizon, I wonder how many of their players will make themselves available for selection.
Last year, only two St David’s players played Cup Match and the last time Bermuda played, not one St David’s player was selected, raising questions about their commitment.
St David’s have an abundance of quality players such as George O’Brien, OJ...
Jun 13, 2014 12:01 am
By Clay Smith
Bermuda cricketers will soon be preparing for the ICC World Cricket League Division Three Tournament, which will be played in Uganda from October 26 to November 2.
However, the issue of captaincy continues to be an area of uncertainty.
Who will captain Bermuda come October? Will it be the regular 50 over captain Stephen Outerbridge, the recent Twenty20 skipper Janeiro Tucker or could we see someone new like...
Jun 6, 2014 8:00 am
One area of cricket that I have been very impressed with is our youth cricket. Having been around to see one or two games over the past few weeks our youth cricket seems to be flourishing, but do notice I said seems to be. I say that because in one breath we have an abundance of young cricketers playing the game, but in another breath many of them disappear by time they reach 16?
It is quite obvious that we continuously have generation...
May 30, 2014 8:00 am
I thought I was going to be relaxing on the beach this summer, but, my, how things have changed for the better.
The challenge of working as head coach of Cleveland County has got me bubbling with anticipation of things to come.
One thing is for sure, I will not sacrifice having a structured, respected, professional programme for the sake of winning.
Hence the reason I was so impressed with Somerset Cricket Club last...
May 23, 2014 8:00 am
The Belco Cup is finally over, but the standard of cricket that was displayed by some of our top players leaves a lot to be desired. There were patches of brilliance and, on the flip side, patches of extremely poor cricket.
One thing that this past weekend showed me is that it will take a very special effort to dethrone St David’s as league champions. Individuals do not win titles; teams do!
Last week I predicted Willow Cuts to...
May 16, 2014 8:00 am
After seeing the first round of the Belco Cup I have a clearer view of what to expect this year from teams in the Premier Division. This year the race at the top will be extremely close. So much so that I think bonus points could be the difference between a team winning and losing the league title.
Two weeks ago I gave a general prediction in my column, but today I will go into more detail as to where I think teams will place in the...
May 9, 2014 8:00 am
Two teams who may find the going tough this year are Bailey’s Bay Cricket Club and St George’s Cricket Club. Both have an abundance of players in school in England and could struggle at the beginning of the season. Will the overseas players be a big miss or will other players within their team step up to the plate?
First, Bay will have at least four missing from their ranks at the start of the season, with Tre Manders, Delray Rawlins,...
May 2, 2014 8:00 am
With the league season merely days away, I have not been impressed with what I have seen thus far from players and clubs. Sadly, our season is due to start this weekend and it would not surprise me if the start of the season is postponed.
For the sake of cricket and its spectators, what few there may be, it would be good if the start of the season is pushed back because players are not prepared properly and neither are the...
Apr 25, 2014 8:00 am
The cricket season is only weeks away, which means that these are crucial days for coaches and players. Coaches need to be focusing on improving the technical and tactical aspects of their players’ game, but they must make training exciting so that players will want to learn.
Looking at the average Bermudian cricketer, both domestically and internationally, there are obvious weaknesses.
The following are three significant aspects...
Apr 19, 2014 12:01 am
Quite often when you read about cricket you only hear about the so-called big teams, such as Southampton Rangers and St David’s, and the lesser teams often go unnoticed.
Therefore, I want to take a closer look at the teams in the Logic First Division. This year the First Division looks to be a very competitive division, but only time will tell. So what teams will gain promotion back into the Logic Premier Division?
One thing all...
Apr 11, 2014 8:00 am
The Bermuda Cricket Board has officially released the player transfers for the 2014 season. Nineteen players have moved on to a different club in hope of a fresh start. Today I will take a closer look at each team in the Premier Division to see if any club gained a significant advantage from players transferring.
Bailey’s Bay, Cleveland, Somerset, Southampton, St David’s, St George’s and Willow Cuts are the teams that will form the...
Apr 4, 2014 8:00 am
Over the past week or so, I have been studying the World Twenty20 games trying to figure out exactly what it is I like and dislike about T20, thus making comparisons with one-day internationals and Test matches.
I have always been a big fan of Test-match cricket, simply because it is the true measure of a good cricketer. As a batsman, you are trying to bat long, which entails concentrating for hours and hours against a variety of...
Mar 28, 2014 8:00 am
The World Twenty20 has started in Bangladesh and what electrifying cricket it has been. As many of you may already know, I am not a big fan of T20 cricket, but this tournament has strangely captured my attention.
Any fan of sports who loves competition would get hooked on this tournament, as many games are won or lost by the smallest of margins.
What makes Twenty20 cricket so special is that it is a fast version of the game. The...
Mar 21, 2014 8:00 am
With the cricket season little more than a month away, clubs will be starting their pre-season training soon. The focus normally is on getting fit and doing a lot of basic skillwork. The whole idea of pre-season training is that you slowly build up, session after session, getting more detailed and intense as you get closer to the season.
Unfortunately, for some clubs pre-season is not as detailed because players are reluctant to attend...
Mar 14, 2014 8:00 am
The World Twenty20 starts this week with a host of countries vying to dethrone West Indies. Long gone are the years when West Indies dominated Test cricket, but they have prevailed in the shorter T20 format. Do they have what it takes to retain their title?
West Indies have a mountain to climb if they are to become the first back-to-back champions because they are in a very tough group, which includes India, Pakistan and Australia.
Mar 7, 2014 8:00 am
If any cricketer wishes to play for another club at the start of the new season they must transfer by the March 31 deadline.
Last season, close to 30 players moved clubs. I want to look into some of the reasons why players move from club to club and what they should look for in a new team.
With deadline day looming, I think it is essential that the Bermuda Cricket Board officially announce any changes to the league structure...
Feb 28, 2014 8:00 am
As I continue my task of seeking ways to improve cricket in Bermuda, this week I wish to discuss one of the most important factors of all, if not, the most: the mentality of the player.
The mentality, or mindset, of a player is a huge factor as to why our cricket is at the standard it is now. Far too many of our cricketers do not take the game seriously enough, hence the reason why our national level has dropped and our domestic level...
Feb 21, 2014 8:00 am
My aim is to address as many different facets of cricket that need improving in Bermuda. In previous weeks, I discussed captaincy, the pitch, coaching, and this week I want to focus on umpires and the role they play in improving Bermuda cricket.
Over the years, I have seen the level of umpiring go up and down. When I first came into the game, the umpiring was at a very high standard. However, midway through my career, I saw the level...
Feb 14, 2014 8:00 am
As I continue to tackle the root of the problem with cricket in Bermuda, this week I want to focus on the coaching aspect of the game, or lack thereof. Coaching is an art. It is a skill, whereby the aim is to improve the individual player or team through teaching certain skills.
Coaching plays a very big part in the overall quality of cricket that we see week in and week out. Many clubs have a coach, but the question is to what extent...
Feb 7, 2014 8:00 am
The Bermuda Cricket Board is doing a good job off the field to keep the sport flourishing, but my concern is what is being done to fix the game on the field. That is where the real problems lie.
Last week, I discussed captaincy and the importance of being a student of the game. This week, I want to focus on the playing surface, better known as the pitch, and what can be done to produce better pitches, which goes a long way towards...
Jan 31, 2014 8:00 am
Bermuda cricket has so many elements that need improving that over the next few weeks. I intend to look at several of them individually, starting with the role of captains.
Captains play an important role in cricket because the game is built around their decision-making. If you had to select a captain, what credentials would that person have?
Most clubs are planning pre-season meetings to discuss their plans for the season. One...
Jan 24, 2014 8:00 am
Although Bermuda’s teams are in the midst of the football season, it is that time of the year when someone within each club needs to start planning for the cricket campaign.
Clubs, along with the Bermuda Cricket Board, have to take responsibility for getting local cricket back on track, or at least heading in the right direction. The key to this is professionalism.
For the cricket season to be a success, a lot of planning has to...
Jan 17, 2014 8:00 am
There are good sportsmen and then there are great sportsmen. Do you ever ask yourself what is it that separates one from the other? Hard work, passion, belief and sacrifice are a few words that come to mind, and then there is consistency.
Consistency: “The ability to maintain a particular standard or repeat a particular task with minimal variation” — and, in the case of the greats, at a very high standard.
When I think of great I...
Jan 10, 2014 8:00 am
By Clay Smith
Have you ever sat and wondered why people support the sporting teams that they do?
If you were to ask a few friends who they support and why I bet you would be amazed at some of the responses.
While most Bermudians have local teams they support, many can be seen in pubs across the island, tuned into English and Spanish football or international cricket supporting their teams.
What is it that attracts...
Jan 3, 2014 8:00 am
As 2014 starts, the word for the week is “character”. Being an advocate of sports quotes, I want to share one of my favourites with you, “Sports do not build character. They reveal it” — John Wooden.
How true is this? What do sports tell us about the person? How a person trains, their preparation, how they play and respond to wins and losses, and how they work outside of training tells us a lot about the character of a person.
Dec 27, 2013 8:00 am
Happy New Year to one and all, may 2014 bring you many joys and prosperity. As we close out 2013, I want to take a look back at the highs and lows of Bermuda cricket.
In a year that promised much, many were disappointed as cricket failed to live up to the expectations. But, hopefully with some foresight, 2014 will be a year to remember.
The cricket season was like a rollercoaster ride. It simply reminded us, the viewing public,...
Dec 20, 2013 8:00 am
With Christmas just around the corner, let me start by saying a warm Merry Christmas to all of Bermuda, especially, those of you who continue to read my column week in and week out. As the year is coming to a close, I want to share with you my five most memorable sporting moment for 2013.
Taking into account that I am looking at sporting moments worldwide, this was obviously not an easy task. However, this was a year for some...
Dec 13, 2013 8:00 am
Cricket is in such an appalling state that there are people calling for the Bermuda team to be dismantled, while others look on from across the waters with great concern.
Recently, former Bermuda Under-19 manager Gerald Bean and SportsMax, the Caribbean broadcaster, put forward two interesting topics that I want to discuss with you.
There was an article in The Royal Gazette this week, in which Bean suggested that the Bermuda team...
Dec 6, 2013 12:01 am
Can Bermuda ever really be competitive at the highest level in cricket again? So many other countries are infested with overseas players who have become eligible, it isn’t funny.
This recent World Twenty20 qualifying tournament, which was held in the UAE, is an indicator that the majority, if not all the teams besides Bermuda, have turned to other resources to strengthen their teams. Now it is a question of how do we improve or level...
Nov 29, 2013 8:00 am
The Bermuda cricket team’s attempt to qualify for World Twenty20 is over. What looked so promising at the start of the competition in Dubai turned into a nightmare as we simply didn’t have what it takes to compete at the higher level.
Bermuda’s performance can be compared to that of a 100 metres specialist running a 200 metres race: he comes out of the blocks fast, but fades down the stretch.
How did it all go so...
Nov 22, 2013 8:00 am
By Clay Smith
After a great start to the World Twenty20 Qualifiers, Bermuda are in a spot of bother as they sit in seventh place out of eight teams with only two games remaining.
Bermuda must finish in the top five to make the play-offs and have a realistic chance of qualifying as one of the top six teams.
Scotland, Papua New Guinea, and Bermuda are tied on four points, but Scotland and Papua New Guinea have a far superior...
Nov 15, 2013 8:00 am
The Bermuda national cricket team kick off their World Cup Twenty/20 qualifying campaign today after two good, hard practice games.
Against Italy and Canada we were able to get some quality competitive games under our belts. Now it’s tournament time when everything counts and today’s game sees Bermuda fitted against one of the tournament favourites, Scotland, in what should be a stern test.
This is the beginning of what should be...
Nov 8, 2013 8:00 am
Bermuda national cricket team fly to Dubai tonight for the Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers with hope of claiming one of the six available places that are up for grabs.
This past weekend seven of the Bermuda England-based cricketers met at Horsham Cricket Club for a weekend of intense training.
I managed to have a chat with Delray Rawlins who was at the camp, but on standby for the tour, and Kamau Leverock who will be actually...
Nov 1, 2013 8:00 am
It baffles me to even think that we could be at a dilemma because we still have cricketers playing football three weeks prior to Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers.
However, who is at fault, the cricketers or the Cricket Board, or could they both be at fault? Regardless, this mess needs to be rectified and fast before something drastic happens and we find one of our top three players, one of whom is our captain, injured and unavailable to...
Oct 25, 2013 8:00 am
By Clay Smith
This past week saw the Bermuda national cricket team travel to Florida for a weekend training camp where they played the USA national cricket team in a three-game practice series. Bermuda were beaten in all three games, causing great concern with only three weeks to go before the T20 World Cup qualifiers in Dubai.
With USA being considered a mediocre team one can only wonder how Bermuda will do cope against the...
Oct 18, 2013 8:00 am
This past week Bermuda Cricket Board announced their Twenty20 squad which will be heading off to Dubai for World Cup Qualifiers in mid-November. There will be two groups of eight bidding for six World Cup qualifying places.
Oct 11, 2013 8:00 am
Do you ever sit and wonder how Bermuda can produce such talented athletes in various sports but for some reason or another we always seem to falter at that final hurdle, not all but in most cases?
Could it be that as a country our players lack exposure (international experience) or that they are mentally weak (doubting themselves before even facing the challenge)?
Oct 4, 2013 8:00 am
In a week when I was mesmerised by the Bermuda Cricket Board’s efficiency to have such a wonderful presentation merely a week after the season concluded, in the same breath I was even more stunned that they would have the audacity to come public with such a statement suggesting that there was no truth surrounding the text message sent to Stephen Outerbridge.
Sep 27, 2013 8:00 am
This week’s news that Janeiro Tucker could possibly replace Stephen Outerbridge as captain of Bermuda’s Twenty/20 team has left me baffled.
As many of you know, I’m a big fan of both of these players and respect them for what they have achieved at the highest level, but this possible move has left me speechless.
Sep 20, 2013 8:00 am
Cheating in sports seems to be more prevalent in the modern day sportsman with the desire to gain the ultimate advantage in order to receive the accolades that then accompany the success.
This looks to be true in both team and individual sports and so I ask the question: is winning more important to players than their morals or values, or does the heat of the moment contribute to the unacceptable behaviour?
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