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Allan Douglas Jr and Macquille Walker drafted into national squad

National team players celebrate a dismissal during the inaugural Bermuda Premier League (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Allan Douglas Jr and Macquille Walker are poised to be drafted into the national squad after impressing for the Select XI during the inaugural Bermuda Premier League.

Coach Niraj Odedra is keen to have the pair join his team as they ramp up preparations for the upcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup Americas Regional Qualifier, which starts on island this month.

“I think we still need a genuine off spinner in the team who can bat at No 6 and I have been saying it from the beginning,” he told The Royal Gazette.

“I think I’ve come to a sort of conclusion that Allan Douglas Jr is very serious and we will try and bring him in for whatever practice matches we are going to play from now.

“When it comes to the pace department, I have seen Macquille Walker bowl as well.

“The likes of Zeko Burgess and Kamau Leverock are bowling well, but if they need support as a good pace bowler, Macquille Walker can definitely be in the side.

“We will look into it, see how it goes and try to promote these two players into our side.”

If all goes accordingly, Odedra hopes his players can get warm-up matches under their belt in Atlanta against local side Atlanta Fire before the first T20 qualifying match on September 30.

“I am actually planning a trip to Atlanta and, if we can make that happen, that will be three or four good matches against a good side,” he said.

“We are trying to do that before the tournament and I was looking at September 16 to 18, but it doesn’t look like those dates work, so we might have to move it to another weekend because we can only go there for a Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”

Bermuda will face off against Canada, Cayman Islands and Panama in the regional qualifier with matches will be held at the North Field, National Sports Centre and White Hill Field. The group winner advances to next year’s main event to be held in the West Indies and United States.

The national team finished runners-up in the inaugural Bermuda Premier League after losing to a second-string Barbados team by seven wickets in the final at North Field on Sunday.

Odedra’s team managed one win against the Bermuda Select XI during the round-robin stage of the competition in which they also lost to Barbados and had their contest against the Antigua Grassroots Academy abandoned as a result of rain.

Bermuda reached the final after pipping Antigua Grassroots Academy for second place in the group on net run-rate.

Despite coming up short, Odedra said there are still positives to take away from the tournament.

“The positives was if you look at our team, all the matches we managed to score 125 and it’s just about going through those last four or five overs,” he said.

“I think T20 cricket you need to make sure you go through those last four or five overs really positive and that can change the whole game.

“So for two hits after getting 125 or 135, you have two or three good hits in the end that can take you to 145, which on a Bermuda wicket can be a good total.”

Delray Rawlins, the Bermuda captain, was pleased he and his team-mates were afforded the opportunity to get a few matches under their belt.

“We got out of the tournament what we wanted,” he said.

“Obviously we have a big tournament at the end of the month, and it was a good sort of warm-up for us to get us going.”

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Published September 12, 2023 at 7:58 am (Updated September 12, 2023 at 7:31 am)

Allan Douglas Jr and Macquille Walker drafted into national squad

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