Bermuda can shine in Dubai, says Smith
National cricket team selector Clay Smith believes Bermuda have the pedigree to achieve World Twenty20 2012 qualification.
The ex-Bermuda skipper believes the players that were chosen to represent the Island in Dubai will be equal to the daunting task at hand but has warned them against complacency.
“We must not take teams for granted,” he said in his weekly Royal Gazette column (see Page 27). “We must concentrate and be tactically smart in all games.
“Our team is filled with players who have the capability to bat and bowl. We have an abundance of match winners in our arsenal.”
Smith believes that the key to success also lies with sound coaching, individual confidence and perhaps most importantly team harmony.
He said in order to be successful in Dubai the team’s “strengths must overcome our weaknesses”.
“The ICC Twenty20 World qualifying tournament will not be easy, but success is still within reach,” he insisted. “With what looks to be a well balanced team one can say that our chances of qualifying are 50/50 as the style of the T20 game boils down to utilising skills and tactics at the right time with the assistance of a bit of luck as well.”
Smith, though, admits that preparations have not been ‘the most ideal” in the lead-up to the 16-team tournament and reckons that the deck is stacked against Bermuda in terms of not having had the luxury of playing in warm-up matches.
On top of that there have been calls for David Hemp to be replaced as captain while numbers at training have not met the expectations of the coaching staff.
Doubts have also been raised over players’ commitment while team morale might have taken a beating when senior player Stephen Outerbridge and coach David Moore became embroiled in a heated row that held up a training session for nearly half an hour.
The decision to replace local physiotherapist Craig Brown with an overseas physio for the upcoming tour is also believed to have ruffled feathers at Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB).
But despite these obstacles, skipper Hemp is confident Bermuda will come away with the desired results in Dubai.
“We certainly have an opportunity to progress if we play to our potential,” he said. “The nature of 20/20 cricket means that all the games will be a test, in particular against those with ODI status.”
Having to play seven group matches in as many days could also prove to be a test for team stalwarts Janeiro Tucker (hamstring) and Lionel Cann (groin) who are both coming off injuries.
However, coach Moore is confident both players will pass the test with flying colours
“Although there are a couple of lingering injuries that will be monitored by the support staff we are confident that we will have a fully fit squad for the tournament,” he said.
The Island’s 14-member senior national squad depart for Dubai today with hopes of securing one of only two World Twenty20 2012 qualifying spots up for grabs.
Bermuda have been pitted in Group A along with Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea, Denmark, Canada, Netherlands, Hong Kong and Nepal.
Group B consists of Ireland, Kenya, Scotland, Namibia, Uganda, Oman, Italy and USA.
Moore’s men will face Denmark at the ICC Global Cricket Academy Oval next Tuesday in their opening group match.
Bermuda squad: David Hemp (capt), Jason Anderson, Lionel Cann, Fiqre Crockwell, Terryn Fray, Joshua Gilbert, Stefan Kelly, Kamau Leverock, Stephen Outerbridge, Justin Pitcher, Sammy Robinson, Dion Stovell, Janeiro Tucker, Rodney Trott.
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