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Outerbridge out of qualifiers

Stephen Outerbridge is set to miss the ICC World Cricket League Division Two qualifiers next month.

The vice-captain hasn't recovered from a knee injury and isn't expected to be in the 14-man squad when it is named later this week.

Outerbridge had been expected to be fit for the tournament in Dubai, but is believed to have struggled with his motivation and desire for the game over the winter.

And at a national team fitness test on Saturday morning, the Bailey's Bay man is said to have fallen some way short of the required standard.

The loss of one of the Island's best batsmen is certain to be a blow to Bermuda's chances of retaining their Division Two status, let alone trying to get into Division One.

With the change in the Intercontinental Shield, which has returned to its previous format of including just the top eight teams, Bermuda must finish in the top two, or face the possibility of playing little or no international cricket over the next two years.

A Twenty20 qualifier in July aside, there is nothing on the horizon until the qualifiers in 2013, and that's one of the better scenario's.

Should Bermuda finish in the bottom two, they will be relegated to Division Three and the backwaters of international cricket alongside the likes of Denmark, Hong Kong and Italy.

For head coach David Moore, the loss of Outerbridge has made his side's task that much harder, especially as he is also having to contend with a shortage of bowlers.

Kevin Tucker, Justin Pitcher and Rudell Pitcher have all failed to attend training over the past few months and so will not be considered for the tournament.

That means that Jordan DeSilva, Jim West and Kyle Hodsoll are likely to be competing for two spots alongside Malachi Jones, Stefan Kelly and, probably, Damali Bell. Rodney Trott and Delyone Borden seem likely to fill the two spinners roles, as Joshua Gilbert is unavailable because he is taking exams.

The batting line-up meanwhile largely picks itself, with David Hemp, Dion Stovell, Jason Anderson, Chris Foggo, and Lionel Cann expected to make the trip.

After a good winter, Irving Romaine seems likely to be included, while Fiqre Crockwell, Kamau Leverock and Terryn Fray will also fancy their chances.

The squad then is likely to be largely made up of the players who attended the training camp in Dubai in January, and given the relative success of that tour there is every chance that Bermuda can retain their Division Two status.

Bermuda Cricket Board have to submit their squad to the ICC tomorrow, and are expected to make a formal announcement on Wednesday.

Stephen Outerbridge

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Published March 07, 2011 at 1:00 am (Updated March 07, 2011 at 7:37 am)

Outerbridge out of qualifiers

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