Crucial week ahead for Bermuda cricket
Bermuda will take the first steps on a journey they hope will culminate with qualification to the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup at the National Sports Centre (NSC) tomorrow.
The Island’s senior national cricket team will face Uganda in their opening ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3 fixture.
Bermuda beat their African rivals by 41 runs the last time the two sides met at ICC World Twenty20 global qualifiers in Dubai last year and will undoubtedly be looking to repeat the dose in front of the home crowd tomorrow.
Offering words of encouragement to the hosts on the eve of the six-team round robin tournament was Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) President and selection Committee Chairman Lloyd Fray.
“I would like to wish the Bermuda National team, the coaches and staff the very best with the hope of bringing home the glory once again,” he said. ”Over the past 10 months the team has undergone much in the way of preparation for this significant tournament. The guys have embraced one another in great spirit and with much enthusiasm, all of which are encouraging going into the fixtures.”
Veteran Bermuda all-rounder Lionel Cann says it’s vital for the hosts to make a positive start to the tournament.
“Obviously we have to hit the ground running because we have a big game on Sunday (Uganda) and Monday (Oman),” he said. “Bermuda are known as slow starters when it comes to tournaments so we if we can reverse that and start off with a good win in the first couple of games it builds momentum going in.
“We’ve always been playing catch up these last few years and then we fall just short at the end. We have to make sure we get a good start because all of the teams are pretty evenly matched.”
Cann believes the team the selectors have assembled will be equal to the task at hand.
“We have a good nucleus of players and a team that’s built well,” he said. “When the pressure arises in different situations we know how to handle it, but it’s just a matter of executing it on the day.”
Ugandan captain Davis Arinaitwe and some of his teammates are quite familiar with local conditions having previously toured the Island in 2011.
“We know the conditions here quite well having played here a few years ago at the National Stadium, so hopefully this will help us out in the long run of gaining qualification,” he said. “It is a fascinating scenario for us because not only have we played a four day and a 50-over match here, but we also recently played Bermuda at the ICC Global Cricket Academy Ground in Dubai (last year’s ICC World Twenty20 global qualifiers).”
The ICC WCL, which is divided into eight divisions, was installed by the ICC in 2007 to provide regular one-day international cricket exposure to ICC Associate and Affiliate teams as well as a pathway to ICC Cricket World Cup qualification.
The eventual top two teams from the WCL Division 3 tournament will advance to the ICC Cricket World Cup qualifier (formerly the ICC Trophy) to be held in New Zealand next year featuring ten of the top ICC Associate and Affiliate teams. The fifth and sixth-placed teams will be relegated to the WCL Division 4.
As well gaining promotion to WCL Division 2 and securing a spot at next year’s ten-team ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand, the eventual top two teams from WCL Division 3 will also remain on course to secure ODI status and a spot in the lucrative ICC High Performance Programme.
Tomorrow’s remaining WCL Division 3 matches will see Italy play Oman at Lords and Nepal take on USA at Somerset Cricket Club.
All matches (50 overs) begin at 10.30am.
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