Return of Douglas gets thumbs-up from Smith
Former Bermuda skipper and selector Clay Smith has expressed his joy over Chris Douglas’ return to the senior national programme.
The Willow Cuts player trained with the squad last week, raising speculation that he could represent Bermuda in this year’s Americas Division 1 Twenty20 and ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3 tournaments.
Smith, who resigned from his post as a national team selector last year, believes Douglas’ potential involvement could bolster Bermuda’s hopes of reaping success at the upcoming international tournaments.
“Chris can be a valuable asset to Bermuda because he is one of the players who you know can perform at the next level,” he said. “Chris would be the perfect opener to complement Dion (Stovell).
“In 50 overs you want one of your top three batsmen to bat at least 30 overs to lay a strong foundation and this should be Chris’ role in the team . . . to bat through and rotate the strike with the odd boundary here and there.”
Douglas, who is the son of Eastern Counties president and top umpire Steven Douglas and nephew of Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) second vice-president Allan Douglas, smashed a boundary-filled half-century (69) against hosts Canada on his senior national team debut playing in the Scotiabank Series Cup at Maple Leaf Cricket Club in Toronto in 2008. He also struck a battling 53 against Chris Gayle’s West Indies during the same 50-over triangular tournament and represented Bermuda at the 2008 ICC Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia.
Smith added: “It’s a massive boost to have Chris out training as I hear him and a few other senior players (Malachi Jones and Lionel Cann) have now started joining in the sessions more regularly. When Chris is focused on his cricket he is one of the best on the Island without a doubt.
“I am not a big fan of left handed batsmen, but there is something special about Chris who makes batting look so easy. I just encourage Chris and the rest of the team to commit themselves 100 percent to training and they will reap their rewards.”
Douglas, who was a member of Somerset’s victorious Cup Match team last summer, was originally named last September in a squad of 43 players currently preparing for the upcoming tournaments.
Prior to showing up for practice last week, the versatile player had not been involved with the senior national programme since being omitted in July, 2011 in the lead-up to the Americas Division 1 Twenty20 tournament in Florida.
In an interview with this newspaper, outgoing national coach David Moore said Douglas was kicked off the team for “not sticking to tour standards”.
Bermuda’s squad are currently training as many as five times weekly and are due to take part in a training exercise in Barbados next month.
It’s expected that the BCB will reduce the current training squad in the near future and shed more light on the training camp ahead of March’s Americas Division 1 Twenty20 tournament in Florida.
Bermuda will host the ICC WCL Division 3 tournament in April.