Coach Cal Waldron happy with T20 squad’s performances
Cal Waldron, the assistant national cricket coach, has been inspired by Bermuda’s performances in their warm-up matches for the ICC T20 World Cup Americas Sub-Regional Qualifier in Argentina.
Waldron was at the helm for two President Cup matches in Tampa, Florida, and two matches against an Argentina XI this week in the absence of national coach Niraj Odedra, who joined up with the squad in Argentina on Wednesday night.
Since arriving in South America, the squad have won their final warm-up games by six wickets and 107 runs, with all-rounders Kamau Leverock and Delray Rawlins leading the charge with both bat and ball, and Waldron feels the players are full of confidence
“Morale is high and everybody is doing good,” he told The Royal Gazette. “We are good to go and we are just looking forward to starting and carrying this form into the tournament..
“There are still some who haven’t quite got into form, but everybody has had a run around, everybody has acclimatised and got accustomed to the pitches and surfaces out here.”
This week’s morale-boosting results arrived on the back of equally convincing wins over Rebels Cricket Club (nine wickets) and Triad Dragons in Tampa last week.
“Carrying on from Florida, we had set some goals that we wanted to reach and we were able to achieve them in these two practice matches here,” Waldron added.
Bermuda’s preparations have not gone entirely smoothly with all-rounders Matty Watson and Charles Trott suffering shoulder and ankle injuries, which brought an immediate end to the island’s involvement in the tournament to avoid risking further problems.
“They were actually freak injuries and on both occasions we were warming up and had not even been on the field,” Waldron said. “Matt was attempting to take a catch just over his shoulder and fell back and landed on his shoulder.
“With Charles we were warming up doing shuttles on the best piece of surface on the property and he ran back and just felt some pain. We iced it during the match and unfortunately when he got it X-rayed it revealed he has broken a bone in his foot.
“The losses are hurting because the players have put in so much prep work. They have committed to the programme, to the gym and to the fielding sessions to be able to get picked, so to come out here and have to call it because of an injury is not good for any player.
“It’s obviously not good for team preparations or coaching and that’s why we did not play the last game in Tampa because we could not afford to lose any more bodies heading into Argentina.”
Watson has remained with the team while Trott, who was replaced in the squad by Jarryd Richardson, could be a major loss to the team’s bowling attack.
“Charles was the only left -arm bowler that we had in a seam situation,” Waldron said. “But we are assessing the pitches out here, which is looking like it’s favouring slower bowling, so we are going to soldier on with what we have.”
Waldron is also encouraged by the impact Sussex player Rawlins is having on his fellow team-mates since being appointed as captain.
“Delray has led the team through words and actions,” he said. “It’s been a seamless transition that has helped the team get through this far. All the players have listened to him and are on board with implementing the visions and goals.”
Waldron is also pleased by the transition the team has made to a turf pitch during this week’s warm-ups after playing on an artificial surface in the United States.
“The players made a good transition between Florida and here,” he said. “Once we realised what the conditions were like in Tampa, we still set some goals that we wanted to achieve so that when we get here we know what targets we want to be reaching and what it is we want to do be doing, so kudos to the players.
“We took a little while in the first match to assess and adjust but the second match we pretty much went gung-ho from the start with what we wanted to do and the way we about things.
“We have had a good look at Argentina so our prep as far as getting practice matches in ahead of time has been good. We’ have had some time in the middle to bowl and bat and be out in the weather elements and conditions so our prep is on point and we are good to go.”
The coaching staff now hope to iron out any remaining kinks before Bermuda’s tournament opener against Cayman Islands on Saturday.
“We just have to do the finer things that we have identified out of these two matches and do some blackboard sessions to pinpoint a few areas we need to work on and all systems are ready to go,” Waldron added.
“We have one more training session before the actual tournament starts so we will go through some scenarios and hopefully everybody has fine tuned their games as individuals and as a team and we will be ready to go.”.
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