Manders calls for more commitment
Arnold Manders has insisted that more investment and greater commitment is required for Bermuda to be able to hold their own against the top Associate countries.
Manders, the Island’s coach, was speaking after Bermuda suffered their third loss in four matches in the ICC Americas Division One Twenty20 tournament in Indianapolis, and look certain to miss out advancing to the World Twenty20 Qualifiers in Ireland in July.
Ultimately, Bermuda’s inability to play spin bowling was their undoing, with the US attack preventing their opponents from reaching three figures from their 20 overs, and then easily reached the modest target with almost eight overs remaining.
“The US really bowled well while today was probably our worst bowling performance because we gave them width and were too full at times,” Manders said. “They got off to a flyer, something like 48 after six overs.
“The spinners are harder to get away than the seamers, that’s why the United States played all spinners against Canada. The fields are big and it is almost like the slower you bowl the harder it is to score.”
Bermuda now need a miracle in order to sneak into the second qualification spot, having to beat Canada and Suriname and hope Suriname beat the United States.
Again Bermuda are falling short on the international stage, having been relegated to Division Four last year and Manders is hopeful the new season, which starts this weekend, can bring about an improvement at the domestic level.
“You have to be playing this type of cricket a lot,” he said. “The other teams play at a quality level compared to our cricket and the senior team doesn’t get away to play that often,” he said.
“The players are learning as we’re going through the tournament and everybody seems to be complaining about the performances, but we’re not up against any slouches.
“We have to be playing cricket and we don’t have the resources to do it — there’s no money.
“The ICC is limited, Government only gave us $100,000 so unless we find a way to get some more funding we’re going to be struggling. We need funding in order to improve, but we’re not getting money from the ICC by going down into Division Four.”
Manders also believes his players need to show a greater willingness to devote more of their time to training.
“I have explained to the players that they need to be more committed, that it’s not about training two out of four sessions and they realise it now,” he said.
“For anybody getting into the national squad you have to be training four or five times a week, doing your extras, making sure you are technically sound, tactically sound and, most of all, fit.
“I believe we have a good group, everybody gets along with each other and hopefully they learn from this experience, particular the younger ones. They have to continuously want to improve, if not you get the type of results we’re getting here now.”
Manders admitted that even top scorer OJ Pitcher struggled to score fluently against some tight bowling.
“We talk about dot balls, well we had 70 today, and we need to find a way not to let that happen,” he said. “We still had five wickets in hand but did not have enough overs left to get where we needed to be.”
Clay Smith’s column, page 15