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Good luck to Cal Waldron ‒ this could be very positive

Bermuda’s appointment of Cal Waldron as interim head coach could be a real positive. I know there may be some who question his credentials having not played at the international level but it could be one of those things where he comes in with fresh ideas and something different, something new that someone who has probably in and around the set-up for a period of time hasn’t seen. That could be a real positive.

I think Cal is really well known in the cricket community around Bermuda. No one would say he doesn’t know the players. He’s got a lot of experience playing on the domestic scene and has a good cricket brain. It will be interesting to see where it goes and whether Cal’s appointment is a short or long-term plan.

I must disclose my bias in that I’ve known Cal since I first joined PHC as a kid and he was my youth coach. He was my youth coach and he also played in the senior team. I played with him just before I left PHC to join Bailey’s Bay. This appointment is another step in the right direction in terms of his coaching journey.

Having Elliot Wilson alongside as a consultant could be very positive. I mean I know he’ll bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, again, to the set-up. I feel like international cricket, or cricket period, is always changing — you don’t have 12 months that are the same. It’s always evolving with new ideas, stats, analytics. It will be interesting to hear how he thinks about the game and the direction that he potentially sees Bermuda going in. It's all something that could be very positive; let’s just wait and see and give him a chance.

It would be wrong to comment on the change in the coaching set-up, while wishing Cal all the best, without speaking on his predecessor, Herbie Bascome.

As far as I was aware, Herbie was always going to reapply for the job and obviously, I wouldn’t know the ins and outs of what went on in terms of the applications. I feel like he got asked to do a job at a big time in Bermuda cricket where he got asked to go and qualify for the T20 World Cup Global Qualifier, take that team to another step. He did that with flying colours in 2019.

To see such a talented team get back together. How many names that played in that tournament and played for Bermuda for the next three or four months until, obviously, Covid hit. It’s one of those things that you’ve got to find out where the people higher up are trying to take the cricket and what they see for the future. Us as players, we always have opinions and ideas that we think are right, or how we see it. It just might be seen different by the people higher up. I don’t think anyone can fault what Herbie has done. As far as I’m concerned, he did what was asked. Then we went to Antigua and played in a tournament having played no cricket for two years whereas Canada and United States probably played 50 games between them in that two-year period.

That was always going to be tough for him and for us as a group, but I think he handled everything well. And every little situation that got thrown at him, I think he threw punches back perfectly. It’s sad to see him go but hopefully he can be involved in the coming years.

In the meantime, it is unlikely I will be part of the squad that goes to Uganda next month for the second leg of the Cricket World Cup Challenge League B series. I haven’t spoken with Cal or anyone at the Bermuda Cricket Board to determine my availability. But this tournament is at a pretty crucial stage in my season; we’re right in the middle and then there’s also Twenty20 [Vitality Blast] coming up. It might happen, but at the minute, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. I’ll always be involved with the group, and there’s the third and final leg in Jersey in September or October. That’s a tour I could be involved in.

Building blocks: Cal Waldron’s rise to the head of the national coaching set-up has been a long and determined one. Here the interim Bermuda head coach oversees the under-14 squad which toured England in 2015 and which includes present-day Cup Match player Jamar Stovel, senior national team member Dominic Sabir, Bermuda women’s footballer LeiLanni Nesbeth, English-based Marcus Scotland and track star Nirobi Smith-Mills

The good news about Cal Waldron has been a welcome albeit temporary departure from the scene over here at Sussex where it has been a difficult week. First in losing my place for the County Championship fixture at home to Middlesex, and then losing a game we had bossed for three days. We should have controlled what the outcome should have been after declaring and setting them 370 to win on the final day. It should have either been a positive draw for us or a win. We had an honest chat among the group at the end of the game and the feedback was that we just didn’t feel like we bowled well enough. There was enough in the wicket, which we saw with the new ball, and even when they were chasing it down towards the end, there were still balls getting past the bat and bouncing. It was tough to take that loss after being in front for 3½ days, but it was a very, very big learner in terms of when you’re getting in those match-winning positions and how we should be closing out games. There was a good, honest chat among the group, and I think that’s the best thing: we are pretty honest with ourselves about the way we bowled in those last two sessions to allow Middlesex to chase down that total at five an over.

This was Ollie Robinson’s first full match back with us since he had his Ashes debut but he had some niggles towards the end of that and didn’t play at all during the tour to the West Indies. He did not have any particular restrictions set by England; it was a case of the captain trying to manage all the bowlers, really, trying to get as much out of them in little, short bursts. I think it was hard to just keep chucking Ollie the ball and having him steaming in. He had done that a bit in the first innings, where I think he bowled nine on the trot at one stage. It’s just about managing to try and get the best out of him, not just him but all the bowlers, who bowled little spells — three or four really hard. But he showed his class, coming back into it and straight away again and getting seven wickets. He was pretty honest and probably felt like he didn’t bowl as well as he could have, especially in the second innings. But you get that when you haven’t played cricket for however long he hasn’t played since the Ashes in January.

The good thing about county cricket is that when you finish a game, you literally have one right around the corner. It was disappointing to miss out, but someone’s got to miss out as only 11 can take the field and the coach [Ian Salisbury] went with someone else on the week. Looking at the week coming, we have Leicestershire away and it’s probably too early to say whether or not I’ll be in or not. But I’ve been working a few things out in my game and improving, and feel I had a nice week of training last week while I was twelfth man. It’s just a case of waiting on seeing what the captain [Tom Haines] and the coach are thinking. Fingers crossed it’s positive for me and I can get back in and contribute.

Delray Rawlins was talking to Dexter Smith

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Published May 12, 2022 at 7:46 am (Updated May 12, 2022 at 7:46 am)

Good luck to Cal Waldron ‒ this could be very positive

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