Log In

Reset Password

Steede: I want only players who care

Out injured: Gibbons is one of four players Steede needs to replace this month (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Ryan Steede is looking for “some honest and committed players” as Cup Match challengers St George’s contemplate making at least four changes in two weeks’ time.

Batting spots are available with both Treadwell Gibbons and Christian Burgess, who has hurt his right knee, out injured, while Jason Anderson, who has kept wicket over the past several years, is serving a life ban after a violent altercation with George O’Brien Jr in last season’s Champion of Champions match.

The latest blow for St George’s came three weeks ago with the violent shooting death of opening batsman Fiqre Crockwell.

Steede is challenging would-be contenders to step up and show the necessary commitment to training ahead of the final trial match on July 23.

“It looks like we’re going to have to replace our top four batsmen,” Steede said. “The door is open, spots are up for grabs, it’s just a matter of the players grabbing the opportunities.

“We have a healthy pool of players to choose from, it’s just about getting the right balance.”

According to Steede, players such as Bermuda pair Rodney Trott and Delyon Borden, who did not play last season, have expressed an interest in trying out for the team, as has Sinclair Smith of Bailey’s Bay, who would be the main contender along with Temiko Wilson for the wicketkeeper’s spot in the absence of Burgess and Anderson.

“They [Trott and Borden] haven’t been out training but they said they’re interested. They haven’t got much time to showcase their interest,” said Steede, who expects to have Stefan Kelly, the pace bowler, return from England.

Potential players have already begun training with sessions held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Wellington Oval in the build-up to Cup Match.

The club held its first trial match on Saturday, losing to St David’s by 28 runs at Lord’s for the Turkey Barnes Trophy.

Winning the toss, St David’s scored 156 with OJ Pitcher — last season’s Cup Match captain — leading the way with 60, after sharing in an opening stand of 89 with Borden.

Spinner Jordan Smith had impressive figures of four for seven from 3.5 overs.

St George’s contained several young players, with Nzari Paynter, who only returned from school in England the previous day, taking two for 28, while Dennico Hollis had two for 22 and Onias Bascome two for nine.

In reply, St George’s were all out for 128 with Paynter scoring 23, and Bascome and Wilson 22 apiece.

Justin Pitcher led the St David’s bowling with four for 28, while George O’Brien, the bowling hero for St George’s two years ago in Somerset, claimed three for 42. Borden took two for 23, and Rudell Pitcher one for 21.

“The trial wasn’t as high profile as I would have liked but I’m sure the guys got something out of it,” said Steede, who has Clevie Wade, the former St George’s captain, assisting with the coaching duties again this year.

“OJ had a good knock so that was good to see. We’re just trying to get in as much work as possible between now and the final trial.

“St George’s have taken licks the last two or three years and something has to change. We can’t keep doing the same thing year after year and expect better results.

“We’re looking for some committed, honest players who are going to represent St George’s to the best of their ability, not guys who want to play when they want to play.

“This is not just about St George’s Cricket Club but also about the community.”

Steede, who played four times in Cup Match, said interest seems to be falling off somewhat among the present players.

“People are forgetting what Cup Match is about, it is losing its tradition,” he said. “Cup Match is big, you’re either red and blue, or light blue and dark blue.

“Everest DaCosta built up Cup Match on his talk show and he’s been a big miss. This year it has been very low key, but this is Bermuda’s favourite holiday.”