Footballers asked to commit to Argentina
Dion Stovell, Terryn Fray and Tre Manders will all put their dreams of FA Cup glory on hold next month to commit to upcoming Bermuda cricket team tours.
Players in the Bermuda team selected to tour Argentina for the ICC Americas World T20 subregional qualifier next month have been asked to stop playing football as of February 1, two weeks before the trio would have been playing FA Cup quarter-final matches.
Bermuda will also tour Malaysia from April 26 to May 4 for World Cricket League Division Four matches, from which the top two teams will gain promotion.
Stovell, who will captain Bermuda, is Paget Lions’ leading goalscorer as they push for promotion. The First Division leaders are also in the last eight of the FA Cup and will meet promotion rivals BAA on Saturday, February 17.
Fray has been a regular in defence for North Village, who are also in the FA Cup, while Manders is also a defender, playing for Dandy Town, who meet holders PHC in another quarter-final encounter that weekend.
“For the first tour, in the contract that they signed it states that as soon as the team has been announced they are supposed to stop playing football,” Bermuda Cricket Board president Lloyd Smith revealed yesterday. “We have asked them to stop as of February 1, the date they will be asked not to play any more football, which gives us plenty of time to make sure everybody is fit and in shape for the tour.
“Coming back from Argentina we’ll reassess it, but as soon as the team has to be announced and presented to ICC, we basically try to make a judgment on when players should be concentrating on cricket.”
Other members of the squad for Argentina who also play football are Steven Bremar, of Wolves, Kamau Leverock, of BAA, and Macai Simmons, of St George’s. Temiko Wilson opted not to play football this season with Dandy Town and has committed solely to training with the cricket squad. He will share the wicketkeeping duties with Okera Bascome.
It is the BCB’s hope to start the season as early as mid-April which would give national team players some competitive matches prior to departing for Malaysia.
“One of my initiatives when I came on board was looking at starting the league early, in April, and we’ll be starting with open cricket, then to 50 overs and then T20,” said Lloyd Smith, who is anxious to see more cricket played this summer. “We will be employing an electric scoring system called cricketHQ for all clubs to use which will provide ball by ball updates to our website which then can be followed live.”
The football season will end on April 8 with the FA Cup final.
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