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Cricket's future hanging in the balance

The next six months will determine Bermuda's cricketing future for the next two years and beyond, and whatever happens there is going to be disappointment involved.

Whether that comes on the playing field and involves another slip down the Associate ladder is yet to be seen, but in the immediate future some of the Island's best cricketers are going to experience the pain of missing out after a couple of months of hard work.

By the beginning of next week, the 15 players who will make up the squad for next month's tour to Dubai will have been announced, and another 15 or so from the 33-man training squad will have had their hopes dashed.

Of those chosen, two will then miss out for the Division Two qualifiers in April, as Bermuda are limited to 14 players for that tournament, and one player who will not go in January, but will in April, is vice-captain Stephen Outerbridge, who is still recovering from a knee injury.

Given head coach David Moore's record since taking charge, the squad is likely to have a heavier complement of bowlers than batsmen, although there have been occasions when this has had more to do with availability than anything else.

Even so, on the tour to Namibia earlier this year Bermuda took seven bowlers, in September they took nine to Canada, and there are enough candidates for Moore to decide to take nine again.

This leaves space for six batsmen, and with five games in seven days, there is definitely an argument to be made for splitting the squad that way, especially as this is the last major test the players will have before April.

Certainly there appear to be more question marks over which bowlers will make the final cut, simply because of the greater competition for places.

Of the spinners, Delyone Borden, Rodney Trott, Joshua Gilbert would all be worthy of a place, while all add something to the batting line-up. The same can be said for fast bowler Malachi Jones, who can quite easily fit into the all-rounder category when he puts his mind to it.

Alongside Jones, there are a variety of other bowlers pushing for a spot, including the likes of Jordan DeSilva, Kevin Tucker, Jim West, Stefan Kelly, Justin Pitcher and Damali Bell.

The last time Bell played for Bermuda was for the Under-15s two years ago, but the left-arm quick gives Moore a different option, and there is little doubt that he has the ability to play at a higher level.

His selection, should it come, might be a surprise, however, given the team's record over the past 18 months there can be no harm in trying something new.

On the batting side, the options seem to be a little more clear cut, especially as Chris Douglas has retired from the international scene.

That leaves wicketkeeper Jason Anderson, Dion Stovell, Terryn Fray and David Hemp providing a solid basis for any innings, with Irving Romaine, Fiqre Crockwell, Chris Foggo, Lionel Cann, and Shannon Rayner all battling it out to join them.

Given the evidence of his last international outing, and the fact that he didn't play much cricket this summer, Cann might be considered something of an outside bet.

However, this is Lionel Cann, who no matter what he may have done in the past still has the ability to destroy a bowling attack, and change a game in an instant. Whether he still has what it takes at the highest level remains to be seen, but it would be better to find out sooner rather than later.

Bermuda squad (from): Jason Anderson, Damali Bell, Delyone Borden, Christian Burgess, Lionel Cann, Fiqre Crockwell, Jordan DeSilva, Staphen Dill, Chris Douglas, Chris Foggo, Terryn Fray, Kevon Fubler, Joshua Gilbert, David Hemp, Kyle Hodsoll, Dennico Hollis, Malachi Jones, Stefan Kelly, Kamau Leverock, Dwayne Leverock, David Lovell, Dennis Musson Jr, Burton Outerbridge, Stephen Outerbridge, Justin Pitcher, Rudell Pitcher, Shannon Rayner, Sam Robinson, Irving Romaine, Dion Stovell, Rodney Trott, Kevin Tucker, Jim West.

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Published December 16, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 16, 2010 at 7:31 am)

Cricket's future hanging in the balance

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