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Date clash will see players miss Cup Match trials

Bermuda's best cricketers will miss the final Cup Match trials in July unless the traditional dates for those games are changed.

The expansion of the 2012 Twenty20 World Cup means that the national team will be in Canada playing in a –regional qualifier on the last weekend before the annual Classic, when the trials would normally take place.

And the timing of that tournament, which will be held in Toronto from July 17-25, means that the Bermuda Cricket Board are going to need to make some changes to the domestic schedule overall.

With more places at the 2012 tournament on offer, the ICC have introduced a series of regional qualifiers to determine the 16 teams that will progress to the global qualifiers to fight for the right to join the major Test playing nations.

Of those 16 teams, six will be ICC High Performance countries and six will be Associate and Affiliate nations.

For Bermuda, who have been placed in Division One of the Americas region, that means taking on the likes of USA, Canada, Argentina, Cayman and most probably Bahamas, who are favourites to come through the Division Two event in April.

With Canada already into the global qualifiers by virtue of their ODI status, that means two places are up for grabs in July, however, given Bermuda's showing in the ICC Americas event held on the Island in June, there is no guarantee that they will make the top three.

There were two victories, against Bahamas and Cayman, last time out that were far too close for comfort, and, a four here, or a wicket there, and the games could quite easily have gone the other way.

Given that Bermuda's standing in the world game has dipped in recent times, and that the Twenty20 World Cup represents the best chance of success internationally, it would seem sensible for the focus in the early part of the summer to be geared towards that form of the game.

During the past three years the Lindos Twenty20 tournament has taken place towards the end of the year, and, in this instance, it might be worth flipping the season on its head.

Or it might be that an Elite League, which has been mentioned as a possible addition to the season, is given the go-ahead and the best players play a series of Twenty20 games so the national team are as strong as possible come July.

As far as Cup Match goes the impact is unlikely to be as great as it might first appear.

The members of the Bermuda squad are, by definition, among the best players on the Island, and should be some of the first names on the selectors' team sheets, irrespective of their ability to appear in the last trial match.

It would seem unlikely that Somerset would drop Stephen Outerbridge because he couldn't play in the final trial, and the same might be said for Lionel Cann and St George's. This time the two clubs might just need to do things slightly differently.

n Roger Dill has been retained on the ICC Associate and Affiliate International Umpires panel 2011.

Dill has been on the panel since it was first put together in 2005 and during his time on the panel has been involved in One-Day Internationals involving the likes of England, West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

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Published December 28, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 28, 2010 at 7:44 am)

Date clash will see players miss Cup Match trials

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