Injured Tucker out of Bermuda squad
Janeiro Tucker has been forced to pull out of the national squad with a shoulder injury.
The Bermuda captain, who is also carrying an ankle injury and has been unable to train over the past several months, has been told he needs surgery to fix the problem.
Tucker asked the Bermuda Cricket Board not to include him in the squad, saying he felt the demands placed on his body would be “too much for him at this time”.
Clay Smith, the Bermuda coach, said: “Although he is still able to play, he has his limitations. Therefore, Janeiro requested that he step aside for this tournament.”
Tucker, who was handed a one-match ban by the BCB yesterday for breaching its code of conduct, is one of several senior players who have made themselves unavailable for the World Cricket League Division Four tournament later this year.
Malachi Jones, Rodney Trott, Derrick Brangman and Delyone Borden have also been left out, after either failing to attend previous training sessions, or because they said they did not want to play for their country.
According to Smith, attendance at preseason sessions has been patchy at best since the announcement of a 54-man training squad in January, although a significant number of those selected, among them the likes of Kamau Leverock, Tre Manders and Terryn Fray, attend school or university overseas.
“The numbers have been sporadic to training, varying from eight to 15, but this is an area we are looking for consistency moving forward from the players,” Smith said.
“This week coming we are expecting a few extra players returning from school, which will increase the numbers at training.”
The new squad has 38 players in it, with Smith and the selectors expecting some of the island's better young cricketers to step up and fill the gaps left by those who opted not to be involved.
There is still a blend of youth and experience in the squad, with OJ Pitcher, Allan Douglas Jr, Shannon Rayner and Justin Pitcher all available, while David Hemp, who now lives and works in Australia, has also been named among the 38.
Tucker's departure does leave the selectors with one pressing decision to make, and that is to appoint a new captain. There are several likely candidates in the squad, including OJ Pitcher, the St David's captain, who has a wealth of international experience.
“We do have a captain in mind and will hopefully be able to announce it in the near future, once it has been ratified by the executives,” Smith said.
Yesterday's squad announcement came on the back of a suspension for Tucker, who will miss his side's game against Western Stars tomorrow after being suspended by the BCB.
The Southampton Rangers captain was punished for knocking over a stump in frustration after being hit for four in last weekend's Belco Cup semi-final against St David's at Somerset Cricket Club.
Tucker pleaded guilty to breaching Article 2.1.2 of the code of conduct and will be available for his side's next game against Cleveland on May 29.
The day before the national squad will be in action at Lord's, St David's, in the first of three trial matches that Smith plans to hold as he attempts to get a better idea of the talent at his disposal.
Ideally the game would be at the National Sports Centre, but the Relay for Life charity walk means North Field is unavailable. The other two trial matches on June 11 and June 25 are likely to be at the NSC, with Smith revealing that the wicket at North Field, which has been deemed unfit for international cricket, appeared to “be rather good so far”.
Fray will lead the Red team next weekend, which includes 13-year-old Nhyrobi Mills, who took seven wickets in an under-17 match, this week. Chris Douglas has returned from overseas and will lead a Blue team that also includes Cameron Jeffers, who impressed for Bermuda Under-19 in the World Cup qualifiers last summer.
As well as the Division Four tournament Bermuda are also planning a three-game tour to Canada over the Labour Day weekend, a trip that Smith said the BCB is “in the process of arranging”.
BERMUDA: A Douglas Jr, T Fray, B Hall, D Hollis, OJ Pitcher, S Rayner, M Simmons, T Wilson, S Smith, M Young, J DeSilva, C Outerbridge, M Simons, G Maybury, J Pitcher, C Smith, I Richardson, C Jeffers, Seth Campbell, D Stovell, A Dore, K Hodsoll, C Trott, Oronde Bascome, Onias Bascome, D Hemp, C Burgess, T Manders, R Smith, Z Burgess, D Rawlins, S Kelly, C Douglas, J Gilbert, J Smith, K Leverock, J Donawa, J Bean-Wilson.
Red: T Fray, A Dore, M Simmons, B Hall, A Douglas Jr, M Young, G Maybury, S Smith, Z Burgess, Seth Campbell, M Simons, C Trott, A Richardson, N Mills.
Blue: C Douglas, D Hollis, T Wilson, J Gilbert, D Stovell, S Rayner, J Pitcher, J DeSilva, I Richardson, C Outerbridge, C Jeffers, R Smith, J Morrissey, D Richardson.
Update: this story has been amended to clarify that Janeiro Tucker was not dropped from the national squad but has withdrawn through injury, which is information not originally provided by the Bermuda Cricket Board