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Clay Smith

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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.

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  • No hiding from our shortcomings with the bat
    May 22, 2015 8:00 am

    No hiding from our shortcomings with the bat

    There were lots of positives to come out of the Belco Cup and yet the issues that have plagued our game for the past several years were there for all to see once more.

    In fact, as I sat and watched the semi-final at St David’s on Saturday and the final on the Sunday, I realised that I was seeing the reasons for our continued failure on the international stage being played out before my eyes.

    Quite simply, as a nation, our batting...

  • May 15, 2015 8:00 am

    Belco Cup just too close to call

    This weekend’s Belco Cup promises to be entertaining, particularly the semi-final between Southampton Rangers and Bailey’s Bay.

    The two best teams in the competition meet in a game that would do the final justice, and to say there is a lot riding on the outcome is an understatement.

    Led by two competitive captains in Janeiro Tucker and Stephen Outerbridge there has been some suggestion that the bad feeling between the two sides...

  • May 8, 2015 8:00 am

    Bermuda’s batting has been abysmal

    I’m sitting here in Indianapolis with the Bermuda team wondering where it has all gone wrong.

    It would be easy to sit here and make excuses for our abysmal performances, but the reality is we just simply did not bat well enough.

    Once this tour is finished players will jump right into league mode in Bermuda and look to impress selectors for future selections.

    On a positive note, talking to the players they seem very keen to...

  • May 1, 2015 8:00 am

    A challenge we are equipped to overcome

    Two weeks ago the Bermuda national cricket team won three games on a successful tour to Jamaica, but now comes the real challenge. The team leaves today for Indianapolis where they will play against Canada, United States, and Suriname with the top two teams heading to Ireland for the T20 World Cup qualifiers in July.

    It is anyone’s guess who will come through this tournament as all the teams are of similar quality. Canada would...

  • Apr 24, 2015 8:00 am

    Delray has the perfect temperament to be successful

    Delray Rawlins has made a significant step towards being a professional cricketer. This week he signed with Sussex Cricket Academy after going there for a trial and training with the first-team professionals.

    Months ago news broke that Delray had been put into the Emerging Talent Programme by his school, Bede’s. This programme is designed to give additional and specific training to athletes at the school who are deemed exceptional and...

  • Apr 17, 2015 8:00 am

    Tour a success but the hard work starts now

    The Bermuda national cricket team has just returned from a successful training camp in Jamaica.

    Having played three games and won three, against decent opposition, the team should be very proud of this accomplishment.

    It was only a few months ago that the senior team and management were scolded for what was quite simply an unacceptable performance in Malaysia. The dire consequences of that disastrous trip was Bermuda being...

  • Mar 27, 2015 8:00 am

    Underdogs or not, I’m backing New Zealand to win it all

    Even though I am an England fan, from Day 1 I predicted that New Zealand would win the World Cup. Now, they are one game away. Although they should face an exceptionally strong Australia team in the final, they go into the game full of confidence.

    How have New Zealand been able to play to such high levels for the duration of the tournament and what can Bermuda cricketers learn from them?

    New Zealand have been a work in progress...

  • Mar 20, 2015 8:00 am

    As ever in cricket, the devil is in the detail

    Watching the Cricket World Cup from a coach’s eye has me critically analysing each team’s strengths and weaknesses. Good teams do the basics really well.

    Fitness plays an essential part in a team’s success. The sides that are extremely fit and agile in the World Cup have been able to save twenty runs before they even bat.

    The ability to chase balls down, dive to cut balls off, or take exceptional catches shows great athleticism.

  • Bailey’s Bay all but nail down big signing of Jones
    Mar 13, 2015 8:00 am

    Bailey’s Bay all but nail down big signing of Jones

    Cricket clubs are negotiating as they try to lure players and coaches for the new season. Some of the names that are being talked about are extremely intriguing.

    Over the past few weeks, Malachi Jones’s name has been the talk of the town. One of Bermuda’s best is on the move and two clubs are vying for his signature — Bailey’s Bay and Cleveland County. It looks as if Bailey’s Bay have won the battle to sign the highly rated player, but...

  • A batsman’s game in which 400 has become the new 300
    Mar 6, 2015 8:00 am

    A batsman’s game in which 400 has become the new 300

    Back in 2007 when India posted 413 against Bermuda in the Cricket World Cup many thought Bermuda did not belong there.

    However, eight years later, teams are posting 400 more frequently. In this World Cup, we have already witnessed the milestone being reached three times.

    Basically, what India did against Bermuda was to show the world the direction cricket was heading: you saw paddle shots, reverse sweeps and a variety of peculiar...

  • Calling all coaches: now is the time to earn your corn
    Feb 27, 2015 8:00 am

    Calling all coaches: now is the time to earn your corn

    Even though the World Cup is heating up, I want to revert to local cricket for this week, as several clubs are searching for a coach. There is without a doubt a wide variety of coaches around the Island and they all have very different attributes. Cricket season is merely three months away and clubs will need to shore up their coaches, with pre-season training starting very soon.

    St David’s, Bailey’s Bay, and Flatts are the main three...

  • Feb 20, 2015 8:00 am

    It’s not right that Associates are penalised for success

    A week into World Cup and the Associate countries are holding their own. Over the years, there has been much debate and discussion about whether they belong in the World Cup. Many question if they are good enough, but from what we have seen thus far, they have proven their worth.

    What would the World Cup be without the Associate countries, as the threat of upsets will be negated?

    Many Associate nations are disturbed by hearing...

  • Feb 13, 2015 8:00 am

    Australia are big favourites but games still need to be played

    By Clay Smith

    The Cricket World Cup is upon us, but who will win is anybody’s guess. On present form, the obvious teams to choose to win the tournament are South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

    However, with the history of upsets at previous World Cups, we know not to take anything for granted. With this in mind, I have reached out to some of Bermuda’s top cricketers to get their views on who will win and why.

    If form...

  • Feb 6, 2015 8:00 am

    Irish memories flooding back

    World Cup cricket will be here next weekend, which might cause many of us to reflect on 2005 when Bermuda qualified for the competition for the first time.

    It has been nearly a decade since Bermuda shocked the world of cricket by becoming the smallest nation to qualify for the World Cup. On July 7, 2005 Bermuda defeated the United States to qualify for the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.

    It is a moment in history that many...

  • Jan 30, 2015 8:00 am

    More international cricket is what Bermuda needs

    It is time our cricketers start learning from the rest of the world. Two issues arose this past week that made me think of Bermuda cricketers. West Indies had already lost the one-day international series to South Africa, with each of the first three matches heavily one-sided, but their response in the fourth ODI was enjoyable to see.

    The other issue that came to light is that Canada now have dropped into World Cricket League Division...

  • Jan 23, 2015 8:00 am

    You don’t have to be a professional to behave like one

    International cricket will make some players, while it will destroy others. It has been discussed for several years now about how majority of Bermuda players can perform admirably domestically, but when they go overseas they struggle to perform anywhere near their best. Why is that?

    Bermudians are known to be some of the most gifted players around, but what are the key ingredients that we are yearning for or are in need of? When you...

  • Jan 16, 2015 8:00 am

    Solutions for our cricket can be found

    As the cricket season slowly approaches, I find myself daily writing teams down, looking at possible transfer options, making notes and finding new and exciting drills that would stimulate and improve my players at Cleveland.

    Then I hear this voice from a coach, whom I had a conversation with last summer, saying, “You can’t save cricket, cricket is finished.”

    Is this really true? Is cricket really finished or have we just accepted...

  • Jan 9, 2015 8:00 am

    Call me a dreamer but here’s my wish list for 2015

    Now that we have entered 2015, the cricket season will be upon us before we know it. The following is my wish list of things I would like to see happen throughout the 2015 cricket calendar year.

    n 1, Bermuda regain some pride when they go to the World Twenty20 qualifiers in May.

    n 2, The youth leagues to play cricket right through the summer, which would allow our young ones to play more.

    n 3, St George’s to regain the Cup...

  • Jan 2, 2015 8:00 am

    Good, bad, but mostly ugly for cricket in 2014

    The year has come to an end and it’s time we reflect on cricket in general for 2014. There was the good, the bad and the ugly, but as we reflect, we must learn from our good and our bad, so that we can grow and have an even better 2015.

    Let’s start with the good in 2014. The Bermuda Cricket Board reverted to two divisions for the domestic league programme, which made for some very competitive cricket in both divisions.

    St David’s...

  • Dec 19, 2014 12:01 am

    We must make change with a purpose in mind

    Since I have been elected to the Bermuda Cricket Board as a club representative I have been doing nothing but talking to friends in other countries, trying to find ideas on how we can improve our cricket.

    It is of no secret that our cricket needs an overhaul to some extent, but it has to be done tactfully and with a purpose. The question is where do we start?

    In recent weeks we have heard Janeiro Tucker and Lionel Cann, two...

  • Fearsome foursome struck fear into hearts
    Dec 12, 2014 8:00 am

    Fearsome foursome struck fear into hearts

    We pause this week to take a more global reflection on the cricket arena.

    Undoubtedly, those of us who consider ourselves fanatics of the game would be cognisant of the death of Phillip Hughes. This young Australian batsman was in the prime of his life when he died two days after being struck by a bouncer.

    The only consolation is that he died while representing his state team in the game that he cherished, the lovely game of...

  • Dec 5, 2014 8:00 am

    Minors and Bascome at head of queue for St David’s post

    It may be December, but speculation is rampant in respect to who will replace Wendell Smith at St David’s CCC. With Smith’s track record as coach at St David’s it will be a tough act to follow for his replacement.

    St David’s won the league title three of the past four years, among other trophies. Some names come to mind to replace Smith, such as Herbie Bascome, Dean Minors, Albert Steede and Del Hollis.

    The conditions at St...

  • Nov 28, 2014 8:00 am

    Better to be part of solution than the problem

    The clubs have spoken and have clearly backed Lloyd Fray to be president of the Bermuda Cricket Board for another term. So if Fray is not the problem, then who is or what is?

    This is what we need to get to the bottom of so that, in two years’ time, we are not deeper in a hole.

    I have thrown my name into the fold and have joined the Board as a club representative. I decided, why sit on the outside complaining when I could join them...

  • Laughing stock in Malaysia: the inside story
    Nov 21, 2014 1:04 am

    Laughing stock in Malaysia: the inside story

    The bad taste of the Bermuda cricket team’s demise in Malaysia lingers to such an extent that many are expecting a change in president come November 26. I don’t see it happening.

    What transpired in Malaysia has not gone down well and many want to know the reasons behind such a travesty.

    What better way to find out than talk to a player who actually toured and experienced it all.

    Surprisingly, this past week, a few players...

  • Nov 14, 2014 8:00 am

    Questions still unanswered from Malaysia

    I was intrigued to read that the Cricket Association of Nepal’s board was disbanded by its government on grounds of incompetence.

    This may be a big surprise to many as they just won the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division Three in Malaysia. One can only wonder why our cricket board is still intact after seeing Bermuda slump to an all-time low, sitting embarrassingly in Division Four.

    What really went wrong in Malaysia? Who is...

  • Nov 7, 2014 8:00 am

    Division Five beckons unless we act now

    A week after our heartbreaking demotion to the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division Four, cricket fans are still stunned and alarmed at what happened in Malaysia.

    Last week I concluded my column with a famous quote from John Wooden [the late basketball player and coach]: “Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be.”

    The quote speaks volumes of what could happen if the Bermuda Cricket Board allow things to stay the...

  • A farcical and pathetic end
    Oct 31, 2014 8:00 am

    A farcical and pathetic end

    Bermuda played at the Cricket World Cup in 2007, but seven years on and $11 million later, we have plummeted to an all-time low after dropping miserably into ICC World Cricket League Division Four.

    How has this happened? Who is to blame? Will there be some resignations? These are some of the questions Bermuda’s cricket fans will be asking.

    After all, someone has to be held accountable.

    Bermuda’s downfall should be a lesson...

  • Oct 24, 2014 8:00 am

    United States exposed our ability to fight when the chips are down

    The Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division Three qualifiers started late on Wednesday night (Bermuda time) and Bermuda got off to a dismal start, losing to the United States in the opening match.

    We are in a group of six, along with Malaysia, Singapore, the US, Nepal and Uganda. The top two will gain promotion into Division Two, the third and fourth-placed teams will remain in Division Three, while the bottom two in the group will be...

  • Oct 10, 2014 8:00 am

    Hard work wins over natural talent all day, every day

    When a player represents his country he must realise that there is a different level of commitment and expectation. Players have to realise the importance of training and working hard. When you train hard, it makes it harder for you to give up or fail.

    Bermuda are about to embark on a very important journey. Shortly they will be leaving to go to Malaysia for the ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament.

    Talent-wise, we...

  • Oct 3, 2014 8:00 am

    How can one go from being a regular to not making a squad of 26?

    Should cricketers who have been neglecting Bermuda for years be given an opportunity to represent Bermuda or train with the national squad in preference to a player who has been around for the past few years training and playing regularly?

    Should youngsters be freely given a chance to represent Bermuda instead of having to earn a place on the team?

    These are the burning questions surrounding the Jason Anderson dispute.

    This...

  • Sep 26, 2014 8:00 am

    Drastic action needed to get clubs in working order for 2015

    The standard of cricket has dropped and it is time we do something drastic about it. I am openly challenging clubs to start planning now for next cricket season and identify ways that they can improve their programmes.

    First of all, clubs have to realise that the standard of cricket that is being played in Bermuda is of a low quality and that some of the things that are being accepted just plain shouldn’t be.

    What am I talking...

  • Sep 19, 2014 8:00 am

    T20 not the antidote for fundamentally inept players

    Last weekend there were some very one-sided T20 games, which makes me wonder whether the Lindo’s T20 tournament should have been split into two divisions, just like the 50-overs league.

    With the national team preparing for a Division Three tournament next month, we must always be looking to challenge them against good opposition. As a country, we must look to maintain our standard and try to improve upon it, which means improving the...

  • Sep 12, 2014 8:00 am

    Season review: Getting better but still a long way to go

    League cricket came to an end last weekend with the final week being full of action. The only thing left to decide is who will take the final spot in the Premier Division next year. Will it be Cleveland County or Western Stars?

    I must congratulate the Bermuda Cricket Board for being bold enough to revert to two divisions after a year of one league. Its decision has made for an interesting season in both leagues and that is how it should...

  • Sep 5, 2014 8:00 am

    Hurdle ruling a blight on successful Eastern Counties series

    Cleveland County are now officially the Eastern Counties champions. It was a very interesting series, but in my opinion, there are two issues that are holding the Eastern Counties Cup back from being even bigger and better.

    First off, let me say as the coach of Cleveland that I am very proud of my team for their achievements and I am very thankful of our fans for their support. They have been magnificent, from the first game, right to...

  • Aug 29, 2014 8:00 am

    Cleveland would be fools to overlook Flatts in county final

    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

    Stovell reveals the secret to his innings of a lifetime

    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

    We have prepared as best we can despite the weather

    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

    Bermuda’s future should revolve around four English-based gems

    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

    Cup Match is finally here. How the teams match up

    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

    Seeing is believing for long-suffering Cleveland family

    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

    Anderson relishing Eastern Counties chance

    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

    Plenty of room for improvement at halfway stage

    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.

    The following...

  • Jul 4, 2014 8:00 am

    July will make or break Cup Match aspirations

    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

    Cup Match selections can be baffling

    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

    St David’s players must broaden horizons

    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

    Jones has the makings of a natural leader

    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

    Our youth must be engaged if we are to break trend of lost generations

    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

    Winning means nothing without the right attitude

    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

    St David’s set the benchmark despite drops in standards

    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...

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