Leverock and others too good to play in the First Division
On the face of it PHC’s decision to appoint Kamau Leverock as their new captain seems an eminently sensible one for the club to have made.
Leverock is one of the best young players in Bermuda and PHC certainly see him as being integral to their long-term future.
With Jason Anderson, the man who began the season in charge, being linked with a move to table-toppers St David’s next season then making the change now appears to be a natural move.
“We had a little team discussion and in terms of our plans for next year it was felt that making Kamau captain now was the right way to go,” said a PHC official.
However, the Warwick club are in all probability going to be relegated to the First Division at the end of the season and that is the last place that Bermuda want Leverock to be playing his cricket next year.
Bermuda Cricket Board’s decision at the start of the season to reduce the Premier Division to six teams next year was a tacit admission that the domestic game was not strong enough and left too much of a gap between domestic and international cricket.
In theory reducing the number of clubs at the top should mean that the better players are condensed into fewer teams creating a stronger domestic competition with better quality cricket on a weekly basis. This in turn should improve the national team, the ultimate goal for cricket on the Island.
Considering the fact that the Elite League has so far failed to capture the imagination of the players or the public in general, the move would appear to be the best way towards building a strong national team.
There is a drawback though, and that is where some of the better players are choosing, or have chosen, to play their cricket.
Rodney Trott’s decision to move to Social Club turned out okay as he only spent a year at the lower level, but it would be a surprise if the man tipped by many to one day captain his country returned to the club rather than staying with Bailey’s Bay where he is on loan.
Talented spinner Joshua Gilbert has already spent a year at Somerset and given that they look like spending another year at least out of the top flight then his remaining there would be a cause for concern.
If Kamau Leverock opts to stay at PHC then three of the players tasked with turning around the fortunes of the national team could be plying their trade against opposition who are nowhere near good enough to challenge them. And it doesn’t stop with them, there are others too, such as William White, Kamel Easton and Mackih McGowan to name just a few.
Picking up wickets with bad balls or scoring runs against teams that have, at best, two good bowlers, cannot prepare anyone for the rigours of international cricket. Not that this doesn’t happen in the Premier Division, because it does, which is one of the reasons why the BCB want the best players to be playing in the top flight.
However, clubs cannot be forced to sign players nor can players be forced to leave the clubs they are at, and there has been a suggestion that the better ones be encouraged to move by making playing in the Premier Division a pre-requisite for national team selection.
Players such as Western Stars duo Tre Manders and Brian Hall appear to have what it takes to succeed at a higher level, but by remaining at Stars they wouldn’t be giving themselves a chance to find out, nor the selectors a reason to pick them.
Clubs will undoubtedly complain about their best players leaving, but the ultimate goal of cricket in Bermuda should be a strong national team, and playing in a league where teams are being bowled out for less than 50 on a regular basis is no preparation for taking on the likes of Canada and the USA.