Allan Douglas Jr ‘angry’ at being dropped from Bermuda cricket squad
St George’s all-rounder Allan Douglas Jr has revealed his anger at being dropped from Bermuda’s cricket team for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup America Sub-Regional Qualifier in Argentina.
After being named in the original 15-man squad last month, Douglas failed to make the final cut of 14 players, with the travelling party announced in a statement released by the Bermuda Cricket Board yesterday.
The news came as a surprise given that he was the dominant force in domestic T20 cricket last season and was named unanimously MVP as St George’s successfully defended their title in the Athene Premier Division.
With speculation rife as to the reasons behind the decision, Douglas is keen to shoulder some responsibility for the situation but is adamant things should have been handled differently.
“I’m in the wrong and I’ll be completely upfront because I don’t want people in Bermuda speculating why I was dropped from the squad,” Douglas said.
“I’ve made one training [session] this entire time and then I missed another session and decided to play football instead. I’ve been dropped for disciplinary reasons because it was in our contracts that we shouldn’t be playing football. I’m not trying to hide the fact, that’s the truth and it should be out there so everyone knows.”
BCB executive director Cal Blankendal, was keen to keep any selection matters internal.
“The coach and the selection committee made their decision for the final squad,” Blankendal said.
Despite Douglas identifying the problems of his own making, his conflicted views surrounding the decision arise from the knowledge that officials at the BCB were well aware of his feelings before naming him in the original squad.
“I’m not upset, I’m more angry that we’ve had to go through this whole situation when I never expected to be picked in the first place, and shouldn’t have been,” Douglas said
“I was more surprised than anyone else when I saw my name in the 15-man squad. They knew from the beginning that I work in the hotel industry and I made it clear that I would not be able to make a commitment to being available for training sessions. I don’t understand what expectation they had because my circumstances had not changed; it was crazy to me.
“They made a big deal about having these rules and standards in place about making all training and fitness sessions, so why not stick to it from the beginning and not name me in the squad?
“I’m not saying we shouldn’t be making training sessions, of course we should, but they knew and now we have to go through this whole situation. I would have had no issue not being picked from the start because I couldn’t commit to what was needed, but once I was selected I was looking forward to going to Argentina with the squad.”
This is not the first time Douglas has missed out on a squad as a result of other commitments, with his family at the forefront of his mind.
“I missed the trip to Uganda previously because of work commitments so I don’t understand what made them think it would be different this time around,” Douglas said.
“I work ten-hour shifts through the night, and I have a son who I also have to look after, so it’s hard to then make every training and gym session.
“If Bermuda was like other Associate countries, players would be paid but here we aren’t. The cost of living here is crazy and so unfortunately my job has to come first because I have responsibilities.”
Douglas’s cricketing talents are a big loss to Bermuda and he is confident that national coach Niraj Odedra wanted his inclusion in the squad.
“Niraj is upset because he wanted me in the squad and I’m not involved. Maybe if he was here on island we could have done individual sessions, but he’s not and that’s the problem, we don’t have a full-time coach on island. This is not his decision, it’s from the selectors and committee members.”
With Surinam withdrawing from the Americas qualifiers, Bermuda need to finish in the top three of the six-team competition featuring Belize, Bahamas Panama, Cayman Islands and hosts Argentina to qualify for the regional
finals on home soil in Bermuda in September. But if they do make it through, they may again be without Douglas who has been left questioning his future.
“I need to have a long hard think about what I’m doing going forward,” Douglas said. “I’m nearly 36, not in my twenties any more and so I have other obligations and responsibilities. I have to do what is best for me in terms of work and my family.
“They have told me that they are planning on making adjustments for me to be available for the matches in the summer, so why couldn’t they do that during this off-season?
“They don’t need me for this tournament but they want me for later in the season. I wish the boys all the best out in Argentina because at the end of the day I’m Bermudian and want to see the team succeed. They don’t need me for this tournament because they should get through with no issues.”
Douglas is not the only member of the original 15-man squad to not feature in the final 14 with Jarryd Richardson unavailable as a result of school commitments overseas.
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