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Cloudy forecast for Cal Waldron as Bermuda cricket coach

Cal Waldron, interim Bermuda cricket coach

Bermuda cricket coach Cal Waldron has been left in the dark over the appointment of Indian Niraj Odedra on a short-term basis.

Odedra has been hired on a 2½-month contract, starting on Friday according to The Times of India, with his mandate being to get Bermuda ready to qualify for the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup jointly hosted by the West Indies and the United States.

With the qualification period not starting until next year, it is expected that Odedra will oversee the Bermuda team — if not, at least be part of the backroom staff — for the third leg of the ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League B, which will be held in Jersey from July 28 to August 10.

However, as of yesterday, interim coach Waldron was none the wiser.

“I am unaware of any coach or coaches being hired by the BCB,” Waldron told The Royal Gazette from Kampala, Uganda. “As per our agreement, my post is on an interim basis; to that end, it will be reassessed and evaluated after I return from this tour.

“If the BCB wish to hire another coach, they are within their remit to do so and I’ll leave that announcement, clarification and public notification for them to address.”

The BCB declined to comment on the coaching situation because of plans for the semi-annual meeting,

Waldron was more effusive on current events in Uganda and Bermuda’s struggles with a largely developmental squad. Five heavy defeats, including one by a record 291-run margin, have done little to instil confidence and have made the third leg merely academic as the first country to be eliminated.

“It would be fair to say nothing went right if we only focus on the results as being wins,” said Waldron when asked for a tour overview. “However, there were several new faces blooded into the national team circles that were given a chance for review.

“For them, it was an opportunity to show an account of where they are and need to be in regards to being considered a top cricketer — not only back home, but in this format as well.”

Bermuda gave List A debuts to ten of a 14-man squad, including 33-year-old Dennico Hollis. Even as late bloomers go, Hollis showed little promise and will likely find this excursion to be his one and only opportunity.

The other newcomers ranged in age between 18 and 25, and may play a role when the squad is supplemented by the return of some of those more experienced heads who missed out for various reasons.

But it needs adding that, even with the likes of Delray Rawlins, Tre Manders, Dion Stovell, Onias Bascome, Terryn Fray, Derrick Brangman and Justin Pitcher in tow, Bermuda were bottom of Challenge League B with no wins and a no result after the first leg in Oman in December 2019.

As such, the need to phase out some players while bringing in new ones for development purposes is real.

Waldron resisted the temptation to spell out what went wrong in Uganda, but emphasised “room for improvement”. Among the areas where work has to be done are in mental fitness, game awareness, physical fitness, understanding and comprehending game plans, and tournament preparation.

Captain Kamau Leverock unsurprisingly was the top performer in Uganda, leading the way in both the runs (124) and wickets (seven) categories. His 63 against Jersey was the only score in excess of 40, while his four for 62 against Hong Kong was the best bowling analysis.

Elsewhere, no other batter amassed 50 runs in aggregate over the five matches, while seam bowlers Zeko Burgess and Jabari Darrell, and converted off spinner Malachi Jones claimed three wickets each.

Does Waldron expect changes for Jersey, which were alluded to by Leverock in his final post-match interview in Uganda?

“As always there is a dilemma with getting all the players one may want at their disposal at any given time,” he said. “To be clear, there were some players unavailable for this tour for various reasons that prevented them from being included.

“I’m not aware of who is and who isn’t available for the next tour; that is a matter for the selection committee and the high-performance committee to conclude after talking to respective players.”

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Published June 29, 2022 at 7:29 am (Updated June 29, 2022 at 7:29 am)

Cloudy forecast for Cal Waldron as Bermuda cricket coach

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