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Bermuda cricket celebrates eligibility succsss

The Bermuda Cricket Board has successfully lobbied for the International Cricket Council to amend its player eligibility regulations to prevent it from disallowing Bermudians living overseas from representing the island.

The issue came to the forefront last year when Okera Bascome, the St George's wicketkeeper, was denied the opportunity to play for Bermuda at the World Cricket League Division Four tournament in Los Angeles.

He was denied because of the additional Development Criteria imposed on certain events even after an extensive appeal process.

Neil Speight, the BCB chief executive, said at the time that Bascome had not spent enough of a duration on the island over the past few years to be eligible to represent Bermuda.

Bascome did not qualify under strict ICC regulations, even though he was born on the island to Bermudian parents.

He lives in England and only returns home during the summer when he plays for St George's.

Strict guidelines had been put in place to prevent countries from exploiting the rules in order to have players play for them, said Speight who put forward a case to have Bascome made eligible.

“The application I put in included the fact that his father [Herbie] and two brothers [Oronde and Onias] have played for the country,” Speight said. “It's not like he doesn't have a link to the country.”

Thanks to the BCB's efforts, other Bermudians will not have to go through the same ordeal as Bascome was confronted with.

“This is a significant win for Bermuda and corrects a huge loophole in the ICC eligible rules,” said Fray, who will step down as BCB president at next week's annual meeting.

“It was astounding the ICC were able to prevent Okera, a Bermudian from a family with a rich history of representing Bermuda, from playing last year. I am happy that this unfortunate travesty cannot occur in the future. I commend the tireless work of Neil Speight on driving this process by raising the issue, lobbying committee members and other Associate nations, and successfully advocating for this much needed change.

“I look forward to Okera, and any other young Bermudian that may be overseas, representing our country with pride and passion in the future.”

St Georges Cup Match trial: Okera Bascome(Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published November 25, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated November 24, 2017 at 9:26 pm)

Bermuda cricket celebrates eligibility succsss

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