Bermuda looking to lay a marker
Bermuda will be looking to lay a solid foundation when they face host nation Argentina in their opening ICC World T20 Americas subregional qualifier today.
Argentina go into the match fresh off of yesterday's five-wicket defeat by Cayman Islands in a low-scoring contest.
The top two teams at the end of the round-robin tournament, in which each country plays each other twice, will advance to next year's regional finals.
Bermuda departed for Argentina last Thursday, where they have been putting the final touches to their preparations ahead of today's tournament opener against their hosts.
“The team has been working hard since we got here and we are totally focused on the job at hand,” Bermuda coach Clay Smith said yesterday.
“Today we went to watch both teams to get an idea of how they play and the playing conditions. I have all faith in my players that they will put in some professional performances over the next week and achieve our main objective, which is to qualify.”
Bermuda's squad has a mix of youth and experience with Janeiro Tucker, the Southampton Rangers captain, the senior member of a squad that also includes overseas-based players Okera Bascome, Kamau Leverock, Chare Smith and Tre Manders.
Among those in the squad getting their first opportunity at the senior level are Kwasi James, of Willow Cuts, and Macai Simmons, the St George's captain.
Bermuda will be captained by Dion Stovell, with Terryn Fray as vice-captain.
The tournament is the first of 12 regional qualifiers taking place across five regions — Africa, Americas, Asia, East Asia Pacific and Europe — involving 61 teams.
The top 25 teams advancing from the regional qualifiers will then contest five regional finals in 2019 with seven progressing to the ICC World T20 2020 qualifier.
Bermuda are also scheduled to play two 50-over matches during their stay in Argentina in preparation for the World Cricket League Division Four Tournament in Malaysia from April 26 to May 4, with the top two nations gaining promotion.
Bermuda will play against Cayman on Sunday and against Argentina next Tuesday, with Fray to take over the captain's duties from Stovell.