Bermuda has T20 World Cup aim after being announced as hosts of Americas Region Final
Bermuda has a realistic aim of qualifying for the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup, according to Arnold Manders, the Bermuda Cricket Board president.
Manders revealed at a press conference yesterday that the national team’s chances have already received a geographical boost after the island was announced as the venue for the Americas Region Qualifier Finals.
“As we prepare for another busy cricket season in the new year, the BCB is pleased to announce that Bermuda has been selected as the host to deliver the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 Regional Final,” Manders told the media.
“On behalf of the executive of the Bermuda Cricket Board, I would like to thank the International Cricket Council for giving us this opportunity to show the world why Bermuda, although small, is such a valuable cricketing nation full of rich culture and passion for the sport.”
The competition, which will be held in Bermuda from September 28 to October 8, 2023, will be second time in five years that the island has hosted the event after 2019, when the national team made it through to the Global Qualifier in Dubai.
“We are looking forward to once again hosting one of the biggest international sporting events on island in 2023, securing the final position in the Americas Region on home soil, and then heading to the 2024 T20 World Cup,” Manders added.
With matches to be held at North Field and at least one other venue, which is yet to be confirmed, Manders believes that the community could be crucial to Bermuda’s chances of qualifying for one of the biggest cricket tournaments in the world.
“Being on home soil gives us an advantage so we would like for the Bermuda public to reach out, show up to the matches and urge our players on to the World Cup,” Manders said.
“Being the smallest country in the world to qualify for both the senior and Under-19 World Cups and to qualify for the T20 World Cup would just be a gem.”
The national team will launch their qualifying campaign when they compete against Bahamas, Belize, Cayman Islands, Panama, Suriname and hosts Argentina in an ICC Sub-Regional Qualifier from February 25 to March 4 next year.
The top three teams will then be joined in Bermuda by Canada for the Regional Finals, in which they will compete for the last World Cup qualifying spot in the Americas Region.
Allan Douglas, the BCB High Performance chairman, is confident Bermuda can achieve that objective.
“Bermuda can get to the World Cup again, I want to make that clear,” he declared. “We can get there again but it requires people working together.”
Douglas said preparations for the upcoming tournament, which includes two warm-up matches in the United States on February 17 and 18 are well underway.
“The national team members are currently undergoing a vigorous training program under the direction of head coach Niraj Odedra, assistant coach Cal Waldron and manager Courtney Trott, as we prepare for the upcoming competitions, ” Douglas added.
“We would also like to thank Mr Kenny Thompson, the official fitness trainer of the Bermuda national cricket team and Beast Gym for accommodating our players during their hectic work-life schedules.”
The BCB has secured year-round access to the National Stadium with upgrades to the ground and cricket nets expected to follow.
“That’s going to be the best training facility in Bermuda,” Douglas said.
“We are very thankful. There’s a memorandum of understanding with the National Sports Centre, so I am excited and grateful that persons like James Pace and Mr Tyrell [chairman of the National Stadium Board of Trustees Craig Tyrell] see the vision and share the partnership with us.”
The BCB are also looking to secure use of an indoor facility to ensure the national team has access to “the best resources as possible in order to succeed”.
At the press conference Owen Darrell, Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, said that hosting the Regional Final will provide tremendous international exposure for the island. He also congratulated the BCB on being awarded the event and offered well-wishes to the national team in their endeavours.
The 2024 ICC T20 World Cup will be jointly hosted by the United States and West Indies. England are the reigning champions after beating Pakistan by five wickets in the final in Australia last month.