Bermuda make early moves for Dubai
Bermuda will leave early for the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifiers in Dubai, with the plan to get in some training matches before the tournament opener on October 18.
The 14 teams are scheduled to be in the United Arab Emirates by October 11 for pre-tournament functions. However, coach Herbie Bascome's squad will be there even earlier on October 5 so as to involve the 17 players in additional training and practice matches.
“They will be leaving next weekend, one week before the teams are scheduled to arrive, as there is a week of pre-tournament activities such as media and administration obligations and also one or two practice matches,” Cal Blankendal, the Bermuda Cricket Board executive director, said yesterday.
“But, looking at Bermuda, we are now in postseason where there is no cricket being played, so it is very important that we go and get additional training and matches. The team will be leaving one week in advance of October 11 to get two to three additional matches and additional training. We need to get in as much preparation as we can.
“It is all because our cricket season has ended; football season is in and the National Stadium is unavailable for international preparation and all the other fields are being used for football, other than Bailey's Bay. The storm activity has also put a halt to our training.”
The BCB announced a squad of 17 players for the tournament, with one of them to be on standby, although that player has yet to be identified.
“There is still a team of 17, and there are some logistics in the selection process, but there will be a standby player,” Blankendal said. “For any injuries, it would be difficult to fly in somebody from Bermuda for the next match, so we would rather have an additional player there.
“This is Dubai, not the US, so he can't get there the next day. We want somebody there with the team, training and practising.”
Delray Rawlins, who is finishing his season with Sussex in a Specsavers County Championship second division match against Worcestershire, will join the team in Dubai. “That's a good benefit for us, as he is playing at a high level,” Blankendal stated. “We look forward to him being a part of the team when he arrives.
“By next week we'll submit the team that will be participating, but any changes can be made up to October 11.”
• The third day of Sussex's county match with Worcestershire was washed out by rain yesterday, without a ball bowled.
Heavy overnight rain was followed by frequent showers in the morning and afternoon. An early lunch was taken at noon, followed by a pitch inspection before the umpires carried out further inspections at 1.30pm and 2.30pm, when play was finally called off.
The match is headed for a draw, with Sussex set to resume their first innings today on 299 for eight, Rawlins having contributed 58. Worcestershire are yet to bat in their first innings.