ʽWe did nothing wrong,’ says Bermuda captain Kamau Leverock after argy-bargy with United States
Kamau Leverock is adamant none of his Bermuda side should face any repercussions for their part in an ill-tempered T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier against the United States.
Bermuda fell to a 23-run defeat in what was their opening match of the tournament at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, as the US made it three successive wins to maintain a superb start and exact revenge for two losses to Bermuda in the previous qualifier on island in 2019.
However, it was not the battling display of either team that caught the attention, rather a number of unsightly altercations that took place with Ali Khan and Xavier Marshall both seemingly instigating squabbles from the start of Bermuda’s innings, goading openers Tre Manders and Allan Douglas.
Ahead of Bermuda returning to action against Bahamas today, Leverock stood firm in his opinion that blame lay with the opposition, with his side merely standing their ground to any provocation.
“I think everything started when we went out to bat,” said the Bermuda captain speaking to Stars and Stripes Cricket Podcast after the match. “Our openers got antagonised quite early on, it was allowed to get a little bit out of hand and I think that’s where it kind of snowballed and escalated.
“It was seen from our side from before the first ball, when our players were walking out and I don’t think we antagonise any of their batsman. The umpires made sure we didn’t do anything out of hand and I feel that could have reciprocated for us as well.
“I think all of it was probably a spillover from what happened in Bermuda two years ago. The US do not like losing, especially to us, and so I think they had that extra motivation.
“I don’t think any of our players should get reprimands. They were on the receiving end for the majority of the incidents and they defended themselves. I don’t think the umpires or match referee would see too much going on with that.
“I didn’t see any contact being made with the bats per se, but if people are going to get in your face, you should be allowed to stand your ground and I think that’s what our batsman did. It was a hard-fought cricket game with a few hiccups and just fiery, that’s all.”
While not conceding to his players instigating the altercations, United States head coach Jagadeesh Arunkumar was adamant that those sort of scenes have no place in the sport, as he remains concerned regarding possible consequences which could follow against a number of his players.
“It was an emotional moment because the boys lost to Bermuda in 2019, so it was great to get revenge,” he said, speaking on the same podcast. “I didn’t see who instigated the incidents because we were so involved in the game, but it isn’t about who instigated or started it.
“Both teams took it a little too far; that shouldn’t happen in the game of cricket and I will be addressing that with all my players.
“It’s an emotional game but players have to keep their calm and carry ourselves with dignity, which we have addressed with the team.
“Possible suspensions are a bit of a concern because it shouldn’t have gone that far. Hopefully it nothing too serious and I’m just hoping there are no penalties.”
Reflecting back on both his personal and Bermuda’s performance, Leverock believes a lack of international match-practice ahead of the tournament and the US having already played twice prior to their clash, ultimately proved pivotal.
“With them having had two games before we’ve even played one, it is quite hard to start playing a high level of cricket straight away,” added Leverock, who was dismissed for just three but did finish with bowling figures of four for 28. “However, it was out of our hands and we had to try and apply ourselves the best we could.
“It could have gone better but if you don’t play a game internationally for two years and then get thrown straight in without any sort of warm-up games, it can start off like that.
“It was quite an average display with the bat from myself. I was a bit rusty; it’s been a while since I played international cricket. Bowling-wise, I’m just getting back to full fitness and it’s coming out pretty decently at the moment.”
• All of Bermuda’s matches will be streamed live here via free registration