Head selector Dwayne Leverock lauds strength in depth of Bermuda squad for T20 Qualifier
Chairman of selectors Dwayne Leverock is enthused by the strength in depth of a new-look Bermuda squad ahead of the T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier in Antigua next month.
The squad contains overseas-based players Delray Rawlins, Okera Bascome and Kamau Leverock, who will captain the team for the first time, while most of the island’s leading domestic players in the 20-overs format are also included.
“The batting can go all the way to down to 11,” Leverock said. “It’s a balanced squad with a lot of all-rounders.”
A 14-man squad has been selected, supplemented by two stand-by players, but cannot be finalised until after Covid testing on the eve of departure.
Bermuda will fancy their chances of repeating the feat of 2019 when they qualified for the Global Qualifier at the expense of the United States. The Americans and Canada are again expected to be the favourites to secure the two qualifying spots from the eight-team event.
Returning to the Bermuda set-up is Allan Douglas Jr, who had an outstanding summer, scoring three centuries including a season-high score of 146, as St George’s won the T20 league on net run-rate.
Other key players are expected to be Malachi Jones and former captain Dion Stovell, of Southampton Rangers, Chris Douglas, of Somerset and Zeko Burgess and Rodney Trott, of Bailey’s Bay.
Trott has been named the vice-captain as Bermuda forms a new leadership axis that will involve he and Leverock swapping places when the country returns to the longer format of 50 overs in the second leg of the Cricket World Cup Challenge League B.
“We have a squad of 16 names, with two stand-by players in there, but they will all train as one squad,” Leverock said.
“The concern is Covid, and we have to make sure everyone passes the test. That’s why we have it at 16.”
The selectors have also recognised the performances this summer of a couple of First Division players — Tre Manders, of Western Stars, and Dominic Sabir, of Warwick.
Sabir, the former Bermuda Under-19 player whose development was reflected in being named a reserve by Somerset in the 2021 Cup Match, scored more than 500 runs in helping Warwick to gain promotion and counts as one of the many all-rounders that the chairman speaks of.
Okera Bascome, who plays in the Second Division of the Birmingham and District Premier League for Coventry & North Warwickshire, is back as wicketkeeper.
“We looked at how we can best fit players into different roles, as there are quite a few all-rounders who are either batting all rounders or bowling all-rounders,” the chairman of selectors added. “It’s very important to be able to be flexible.
“We tried to reward players who have had pretty good seasons, knocking around on the fringe. Tre is back in the fold again and Dominic Sabir has earned his place. He’s somebody to watch in the future.”
Leverock added: “We’re in the process of trying to blood new players on each tour, and he and a couple of others will come to mind for the future. We’re very happy with the 16 we have at this moment.“
Leverock, himself a former Bermuda player, is pleased to see his nephew step up to the captaincy role. “He discussed it with the committee and coach,” the chairman said.
“We’re looking to blood future leaders and we’re going to have a programme where we can put players in leadership roles so in the future we can have more captains to choose from.”
Terryn Fray, who previous captained the Bermuda team in 50-overs matches, is unavailable for this tour. “He will definitely be available for the next 50-overs tour,” Leverock said.
Allan Douglas Jr is one of four St George’s players in the squad, the others being Onias Bascome, Macai Simmons and stand-by player Jabari Darrell. Bailey’s Bay have three players in the squad in Trott, Burgess and Kyle Hodsoll.
Bermuda squad (for T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier in Antigua from November 7 to 14): Kamau Leverock (captain, Caythorpe), Rodney Trott (vice-captain, Bailey’s Bay), Okera Bascome (Coventry & North Warwickshire), Onias Bascome (St George’s), Zeko Burgess (Bailey’s Bay), Allan Douglas Jr (St George’s), Chris Douglas (Somerset), Kyle Hodsoll (Bailey’s Bay), Malachi Jones (Southampton), Tre Manders (Western Stars), Delray Rawlins (Sussex), Dominic Sabir (Warwick), Macai Simmons (St George’s), Dion Stovell (Southampton). Stand-by: Greg Maybury (Somerset), Jabari Darrell (St George’s).