T20 preparations on track, insists Moore
Qualifying for the ICC World Twenty20 2012 will be anything but a stroll in the park for Bermuda during next month’s global qualifiers in the United Arab Emirates.
With only two of the participating 16 ICC Associate/Affiliate countries advancing to September’s tournament in Sri Lanka, there will be no margin for error for a senior national squad that has fallen on tough times since appearing at the 2007 ICC World Cup.
Bermuda has been pitted in Group A along with Afghanistan, Denmark, Canada, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Nepal and Papua New Guinea and will launch their qualifying campaign against the Danes at the Academy Oval March 13.
A tight schedule will see the Island’s national squad play seven group matches in as many days.
“It is a very tight and challenging schedule for all teams with one game a day,” said national coach David Moore. “It is necessary for the schedule to be like that to cater for the 16 teams in the tournament.
“Our players will have to look after themselves while on tour to make sure that they have recovered sufficiently to perform at their best day in day out.”
Despite the gruelling schedule Moore is optimistic that whatever team Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) sends to Dubai will do the Island proud.
“I am very confident that the players that have committed to train and play for Bermuda will do their very best for their country,” he said. “The players have been preparing strongly and have been undertaking fitness and skill development work pertinent to the T20 game.”
Bermuda’s preparations for the upcoming tournament may not have met the expectations of some, with a number of influential players unavailable to train for various reasons.
There is speculation that late additions could be called upon to bolster the squad.
But when asked would any new faces be drafted into the team at the 11th hour Moore emphatically replied: “I don’t discuss selection matters in the media.”
The Australian did not respond to questions surrounding the concerns raised over David Hemp’s captaincy that has come under scrutiny recently.
Earlier this week
The Royal Gazette revealed that several national team players have called for the ex-English County cricketer to be replaced by someone they can relate to more on a personal level.
The BCB’s executive are expected to address the matter, which has also rubbed off on the Island’s World Twenty20 preparations, in the near future.
Another concern is the health status of top all- rounder Janeiro Tucker.
The veteran cricketer tore his left hamstring late last year while climbing a ladder at work and has yet to fully recover.
“Janeiro has suffered a very serious injury and these type of injuries do not repair quickly,” Moore said. “It will take constant work to be ready for the tournament.”
BCB president Lloyd Fray said the Island’s World Twenty20 squad “should be released within the next few weeks”.
National team cricketers are currently training as many as three times weekly in the countdown to their March 9 departure for Dubai.