‘We have nothing to lose in Uganda,’ says confident Amari Ebbin
Amari Ebbin is relishing the opportunity to showcase his talent on the international stage after being handed his first call-up to the senior national team.
The 24-year-old, who plays overseas for the University of South Wales, has been named in the 14-man Bermuda squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League B campaign in Uganda from June 15 to 27.
“This will be my first competitive involvement with the national team and I’ve been waiting so long for this opportunity,” he said.
“I feel ready and prepared for the opportunity and so more than anything else I’m just excited to get out there and showcase my talent, and try and score as many runs as possible.”
Interim head coach Cal Waldron, in charge of the team for the first time, faces an uphill battle in Uganda with a number of key players, including Delray Rawlins, missing for the trip.
However, Ebbin, one of a number of new faces called up, is adamant there is more than enough quality among the squad to help Bermuda improve their standing within the group, which sees them prop up the table with one point gained from a no result in an abandoned match against Kenya, having suffered defeats by Uganda, Jersey, Hong Kong and Italy.
Hosts Uganda top the table after the first leg, which was played in Oman in December 2019, with a perfect record of five victories. The third and final leg of the group stage will be played in Jersey in August.
“We have a number of key players missing but it’s a chance for others to come and try and impress,” Ebbin added. “In a way, we have nothing to lose.
“I think we have a lot of talent throughout the squad and it’s a great opportunity for us to showcase the depth of talent we have.
“Obviously, we’ll always miss not having the likes of Delray [Rawlins], but I think we can more than hold our own. We have a good crop of players who are capable of performing.
“It’s a case of taking it one game at a time, but I’m confident we have the personnel to beat anybody in the group. We just need to come together as a group and push on.
“As a team we definitely have a point to prove. The next two years are vitally important because we need to get back to the level we have been at previously and move back in the right direction.
“Unfortunately, I feel like we’ve gone backwards over the past decade and now is the time to push ourselves and return back to where we were before.”
On a personal level, Ebbin will be aiming to help fill the run-scoring void left by Rawlins and comes into the squad on the back of an impressive century for the University of South Wales in a 118-run success over the Swansea University Second XI.
On the same day as the national squad was announced, Ebbin smashed his way to 101 off 82 balls, which included ten fours and a six to help inspire his team to victory. He also took two catches.
“It was a great way to sign off before meeting up with the national side,” he added.
“I’ve put a lot of work in over the past few months with coaches trying to focus on building an innings and have more game awareness. It’s definitely been coming together over the past few weeks with some good innings, but I’ve not had that luck at certain times.
“I could feel a big score coming for some time and, thankfully, I had the platform to do just that. I’ve always liked facing spinners and so when I knew I’d be facing two I kind of felt I had a licence to attack and try and find some gaps. After reaching fifty, the coaches just told me to keep going and I just kept finding gaps and the runs kept coming.
“It’s great to have had that momentum building going into the national squad. It’s funny because I scored the century on the same day that the squad was announced and it’s given me great confidence.”
Ebbin will meet up with his Bermuda colleagues on Wednesday before heading on to East Africa.