Borden ‘not interested’ in national squad
St David's cricket coach Wendell Smith admitted recently that some of his players don't seem to want to represent Bermuda, but insists that Delyone Borden's decision to decline national team invitations has nothing to do with previous issues with Bermuda Cricket Board.
The all-rounder, who was part of the Bermuda team that made history in Ireland in 2005 when they qualified for the World Cup, had a well publicised pay dispute with the BCB in 2009.
He refused to take part in Bermuda's second match on tour of Grenada in protest over an ongoing dispute over salary compensation involving the Board and his employers, Department and Works and Engineering.
And though the player has been involved in the national squad since, he was not in the team for the Division Three Championships held here in April nor was he selected to train for the upcoming Twenty20 Tournament in Dubai after confirming he was unavailable.
“I did talk to him because we have a few players who, it appears, right now are not interested,” revealed Smith who was named the Coach of the Year after leading St David's to the league and T20 titles.
“I went to him privately and said ‘Delyone, what's the deal, why aren't you playing for Bermuda' because obviously he is still someone who has a lot to offer Bermuda. He just said he's had his turn and is not interested right now. I think he was questioning how serious the guys are when they are on tour.”
Smith made the remarks ahead of the recent selection of the Bermuda team for next month's Twenty20 World Cup qualifying tournament in Dubai which does not contain any players from the league champions.
National coach Arnold Manders pointed out that only two players from that club attended training sessions, but less than half of the 29 sessions held.
“None of it has to do with the issues he has with the Board over pay, because truth is Delyone represented Bermuda down in Jamaica in the T20 Tournament and represented Bermuda in the World Cup,” said Smith. “He has travelled the world with Bermuda and has played top cricket for a long time.
“What might be discouraging to him — and what he made me believe — is while he has been involved with some very intense training programmes, there are some that he was less than pleased with as far as his fellow players. One thing about Delyone Borden, the guy loves to train very intense. In fact, after about a month into the season he came to me and said ‘coach, can we make the sessions even more intense' because he was displeased with the fact that he wasn't getting enough out of it.”
Four St David's players — Fiqre Crockwell, Justin Pitcher, OJ Pitcher and Sammy Robinson — were named in a training squad in August to prepare for the Twenty20 Tournanent in Dubai next month.
As Manders noted this week, Crockwell attended 10 sessions and Justin Pitcher nine, well below the 80 percent attendance required to be considered for selection.