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‘We can help with development’ says MCC skipper

MCC captain Craig Wright knows a thing or two about rebuilding a country’s cricket team.

Wright, who is the Performance Development Manager for Cricket Scotland, is heavily involved in regenerating his nation’s senior team and sees similarities with Bermuda’s own situation.

Both countries have seen established players come and go in the past few years to be replaced by a new generation of cricketers who are trying to recapture their side’s former glories.

“Obviously they (Bermuda) had the period in the mid-2000 and played in the 2007 World Cup where they had a lot of experienced players in the team at that time,” said Wright.

“They’re going through a regeneration of the national team in much the same way that Scotland actually are at the moment. They will be looking to get back to the top division of the Associate ladder and I’m sure these games will be part of that rebuilding process.”

Wright believes that having the chance to play decent opposition on a regular basis is essential to improving a national team, but also thinks this is something that is harder for an Associate nation to do as opposed to a Test nation.

“I think that’s probably the case because probably the infrastructure is not quite the same as maybe some of the full member countries in terms of the youth programme and the amount of cricket developing players get to play,” he said.

“I think that’s the real key and perhaps where these games against the MCC and the likes fit in. It gives countries like Bermuda and whoever else the opportunity to play against some experienced cricketers and, as I say, forms an important part of the programme.

“But, I think from a resource point of view, from a fixture list point of view, there are certainly challenges there for Associate countries that aren’t there for some of the full member countries.”

Wright and the rest of the MCC squad arrive on the Island on Friday on what will be the club’s fourth overseas tour this year, following on from trips to Namibia, Hong Kong and Greece.

A central pillar to the club’s touring philosophy is in ‘assisting national teams move towards one-day international or even Test status’ and while Bermuda are never likely to be a Test nation, regaining their one-day international status is high on the agenda. Of more pressing concern is the World Twenty20 Global Qualifiers in March next year, and the fight to regain Division Two status which will begin in early 2013.

“Bermuda are certainly a bit more advanced than some of the countries that the MCC would tour,” said Wright, ”but, obviously, the idea is that we provide some reasonable opposition to the Bermuda team.

“From what I understand they are going through a rebuilding phase and quite a few young players are coming through. Hopefully the MCC will be good opposition for the young Bermuda players and we’ll get to play some good cricket.”

As with any country youth progression is essential to Bermuda’s future but success in the past has sometimes prevented players getting the development they need, not just in Bermuda but elsewhere too.

“I think it’s very much about the young players and developing players getting that opportunity to gain experience and gain some knowledge of playing a good level of cricket,” said Wright.

“Sometimes when a country has an established group of players that’s more difficult, because those (younger) players don’t get those opportunities as early at a national team level that they would otherwise.

“That’s where the structures and the programmes and the fixture lists and that sort of thing are so important at the levels below the national team. That’s one thing we’re working pretty hard on in Scotland to make sure we get right.”

n Nick Compton will not be touring Bermuda with the MCC as planned. The Somerset batsman is with his team in India playing in the Nokia Champions League.

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Published September 21, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated September 21, 2011 at 9:01 am)

‘We can help with development’ says MCC skipper

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