Colts hoping to impress on cricket’s big stage
Cup Match can be an intimidating place for a teenager colt but challengers St George’s are confident the four debutants they named for this year’s classic will be up to the task.
The plan worked to a charm in 1997 when the East Enders named four colts the year after losing the cup. Two of them, Herbie Bascome and Gary Brangman, played significant roles with the ball in an eight-wicket win.
St George’s have again named four colts, including Bascome’s 18-year old son Onias who is one of six changes to last year’s team. The other colts are Christian Burgess, the wicketkeeper, and seam bowlers Lateef Trott and Zeko Burgess who will lead the bowling attack along with Justin Pitcher.
“I know I’m going to be a little nervous but I think I’m going to be all right, it’s just another game at the end of the day, that’s how you have to take it,” said Bascome who came close to being selected last year. This year there was no disputing his selection, having just scored 148 against Somerset in the league the previous weekend.
“It’s a waiting game. I got my change and now I’ve just got to take it with both hands.”
Bascome, Christian Burgess and Zeko Burgess are team-mates in the St George’s league side and were recently part of the Bermuda Under-19 team that travelled to Canada for World Cup qualifying matches.
Bascome, who lives in England, was previously on Warwickshire’s youth books where he developed his game. As well as being a hard-hitting early order batsman, he is also a promising medium pacer. He aspires, one day, to follow his brother, father, uncle and grandfather and become captain of the Cup Match team.
“It’s always been a dream to be captain. I’ve been to every Cup Match since I’ve been alive,” he says. “It was like ‘hopefully I can take on the legacy, perform in Cup Match and then become captain one day’.”
Christian Burgess is also following in big boots as the latest in a long line of talented St George’s wicketkeepers, having been given the nod over Jason Anderson. He failed with the bat in the final trial match and thought maybe he had lost his chance but the next day showed his potential with a solid knock of 98 in a league match against Devonshire Rec.
“I felt that way a bit, but thought I did very well in the field and I think my fielding behind the stumps was what got me into Cup Match,” said Burgess, a dashing left-handed batsman whom former captain Clay Smith likens to former wicketkeeper Dean Minors.
“We did a lot of work together and I really look up to him as one of the best in Bermuda, so for someone to compare me to him is a plus. It’s not really pressure but a goal to strive towards. He has always backed me as a wicketkeeper.”
Burgess, who is also in Lincoln, England, admitted he was starting to feel the nerves as the big day nears. “I’m nervous but at the same time I’ve been reserved so I have felt the atmosphere. You just have to use it to your advantage,” said the 19-year-old.
“I had a good feeling I would make the team this year and I felt they (selectors) thought I was ready as well.”
Selection committee chairman Charlie Marshall insisted changes needed to be made after last year’s heavy defeat in Somerset, but urged those overlooked to fight even harder next year.
“To the individuals who didn’t make it I can say we’ve all been through it. I was dropped twice,” said Marshall who has scored the most runs (1,357) in Cup Match.
“Just about everybody who has played Cup Match has been dropped. I want them to continue on with their cricket, think positive, and next year there is a possibility they will make the St George’s team again.”