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A chance to repair Island’s reputation

David Moore believes that the importance of the World Cricket League Division Two tournament to Bermuda's future cannot be underestimated.

Speaking yesterday after the announcement of the 14-man squad for next month's competition in Dubai, Moore said the chance to repair the Island's tarnished reputation and avoid falling into the cricketing wilderness were just two elements to a ‘very important tour'.

However, while the head coach said that the players and staff all understood what was riding on the success or failure of Bermuda's tournament, he wouldn't allow that to distract the team from ‘getting their heads down and putting performances on the board'.

“Every tournament is important, but the state we (Bermuda) are in at the moment, absolutely, it's very important,” said Moore. “It's important for us to re-build our reputation that was tarnished a little bit at the conclusion of the last major series in South Africa in 2009.

“We've got to reclaim that image, and we've also got to reclaim the image from being spanked by two teams, and beaten cleverly by a third in the Intercontinental Shield.

“Certainly it's an opportunity for that, but really that's second prize to getting our heads down, not really worrying about that, and having pride in playing for Bermuda.

“It's about getting out there, and putting the performances on the board.”

A top two finish in Dubai would see Bermuda regain their Division One status, and earn them entry into the Intercontinental Cup.

Anything less and with the abolition of the Intercontinental Shield, the national team will struggle to play any meaningful international cricket for the next two years.

The worst case scenario would see Bermuda finish in the –bottom two and be relegated to Division Three.

“You can see that if you don't make Division One, you're not dead and buried by any means, but the bottom line is that you've then get to make your own fixtures,” said Moore.

“Even if we stay in Division Two, and it stays the way it is, our next major series is in two years. I'm hopeful that the ICC will take it upon themselves to give us some more playing options.

“Obviously in July we have that World Twenty20, and that will come around every two years as well, but for us, that means two tournaments in a year, and then nothing in the other year.

“It's very important on all levels.”

Bermuda Cricket Board certainly think so, they are financing an 11-day camp in Dubai prior to the tournament, where Bermuda will play three warm-up games on March 28, April 2, and April 4.

The squad that Moore named yesterday is certainly being given every opportunity to succeed, and the Australian is confident in the players that have been selected are all fully committed to the task at hand.

“The level of competitiveness between players fighting for a place in the touring squad has been outstanding,” said Moore.

“This squad is underpinned by the development of a performance culture. Players are being selected on current performances, not on reputation and performances of the past.”

As expected Stephen Outerbridge hasn't recovered from a knee injury sustained at last year's Cup Match, while Irving Romaine returns to the team. Kamau Leverock meanwhile has been dropped from the squad that toured UAE in January.

“The batting is strengthened by the return of Irving Romaine,” said Moore. “Irving brings a high level of experience and some good performances from last years international schedule.

“He is a very good team man that brings out the best in many of our players and it is great to have him back in the set up. Batsmen in the squad including Terryn Fray, Oronde Bascome, Dennico Hollis and Sam Robinson have all been working hard both here and overseas and are unlucky not to be included.”

In the bowling department, Jim West and Kyle Hodsoll have taken the final two spots, with Malachi Jones, Stefan Kelly, and Damali Bell making up the pace attack. Like Leverock, Jordan Desilva is missing from the group that went away earlier this year.

“The selected pace bowling group has worked very hard on all aspects of their game,” said Moore.

“Their technical work has been progressing well and their fitness gains have been outstanding.

“Malachi Jones and Stefan Kelly bowled very well in our last tour to Dubai and will be leading the attack. Bell, West and Hodsoll continue to improve and it is expected that they will make significant contributions during the tournament.

“Jordan Desilva and Burton Outerbridge have trained extremely well and narrowly missed a very competitive selection.”

Bermuda squad: D Hemp, J Anderson, D Bell, D Borden, L Cann, F Crockwell, C Foggo, K Hodsoll, M Jones, S Kelly, I Romaine, D Stovell, R Trott, J West.

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Published March 10, 2011 at 1:00 am (Updated March 10, 2011 at 8:58 am)

A chance to repair Island’s reputation

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