Papua New Guinea up first for Moore’s side
Bermuda will open their World Cricket League Division Two campaign against Papua New Guinea in Dubai next month.
They follow that with a game against Division Three winners Hong Kong, before taking on Uganda, Namibia and UAE.
While many might consider Bermuda's start to be relatively easy given the other teams in the competition, national coach David Moore has warned that underestimating either PNG or Hong Kong would be fatal.
Both teams came through a tough Division Three event in Hong Kong in January, from which USA failed to qualify, and the hosts, who beat PNG in the final, bounced back from having lost their two opening matches of that tournament.
Moore says he won't be making the mistake of taking either team lightly.
“I think that once you get to this level they (matches) are all extremely hard,” he said. “Those guys that have come up from Division Three, they deserve their crack as well, because I know PNG are a very good team.
“I'm not that familiar with Hong Kong but with their results it's clear that they can play and it's clear that they fight very hard because they've come back from the dead and won the tournament. I would never, ever, dream about taking those teams lightly, that's for sure.”
There is plenty on the line for Bermuda next month, not least of which is the ICC High Performance Grants that they have been receiving for the past several years.
To maintain that grant the team must finish in the top four, which would also give them a slim hope of being handed a spot in the Intercontinental Cup. With two places available in the eight-team competition, the ICC Development Committee is due to choose two of the top four to fill those spots.
Past evidence would suggest that Bermuda are more likely to finish in the lower half of the standings and a bottom two finish would be disastrous as that would not only bring an end to High Performance funding but also see the –Island relegated to Division Three.
“If you look at our form it's not something (finishing in the top four) you would be putting houses on,” said Moore, “after how we ended up in the Division Two Intercontinental Shield but I think we've improved a lot since then. I think our trip to Dubai (in January) was very promising but again you can't rest on that either. It's all now about playing smart cricket. I think talent wise they (the teams) will all be very similar but it's all about being disciplined and playing smart.”
Bermuda travel to Dubai next Thursday and the tournament runs from April 8 to 15 with matches being played at Dubai Sports City and the ICC's Global Cricket Academy.
6 April - Team arrivals
7 April - Practice
8 April - UAE v Namibia (DSC Stadium); PNG v Bermuda (GCA 1); Uganda v Hong Kong (GCA 2)
9 April - Uganda v Namibia (DSC Stadium); Bermuda v Hong Kong (GCA 1); UAE v PNG (GCA 2)
10 April - Rest/Reserve Day
11 April - Bermuda v Uganda (DSC Stadium); UAE v Hong Kong (GCA 1); Namibia v PNG (GCA 2)
12 April - Hong Kong v PNG (DSC Stadium); UAE v Uganda (GCA 1); Namibia v Bermuda (GCA 2)
13 April - Rest/Reserve Day
14 April - UAE v Bermuda (DSC Stadium); Hong Kong v Namibia (GCA 1); PNG v Uganda (GCA 2)
15 April - Final (DSC Stadium); third/fourth play-off (GCA 1); fifth/sixth play-off (GCA 2)