Malachi Jones left out of Bermuda squad for World Cup qualifier
Bermuda stalwart Malachi Jones appears to have called time on his international career after being left out of the squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Americas Regional Qualifier.
Jones, who played for Bermuda as a 17-year-old at the 2007 World Cup and famously had Indian batter Robin Uthappa caught by Dwayne Leverock with his first ball, is the most notable omission in the 14-man squad.
The 33-year-old, who helped Bermuda breeze through the Sub-Regional Qualifier in Argentina in March, previously spoke of his desire to grace the World Cup stage again, but he has now seen that ambition dashed.
“And just like that the book is officially closed … Thanks for the journey @CricketBermuda, been a pleasure,” Jones wrote on his twitter account moments after the announcement was made.
National coach Niraj Odedra has not been afraid to tinker, recalling Allan Douglas Jr and including Alje Richardson as Bermuda prepare to play Canada in the opening game of the qualifiers at White Hill Field on Saturday.
Experienced players such as captain Delray Rawlins, Kamau Leverock, Tre Manders, Terryn Fray and Zeko Burgess will shoulder plenty of responsibility, with Derrick Brangman, Charles Trott, Dominic Sabir and Cejay Outerbridge retaining their places despite the team losing to Barbados in the final of the recent Bermuda Premier League.
“Allan Douglas Jr is someone who gives an off-spin option, but also in bat” Odedra said speaking after announcing his squad on Power 95.
“T20 cricket is all about having that all-round performance, because you need players who can do everything.
“Alje Richardson missed out on the BPL tournament due to other commitments, but he has a lot of batting talent and if we have some players who are out form, you need someone who can come in and play a role.
“We had a chat with Alje and he confirmed that he could give all of his time to the squad, and so he is in.
“In T20 you cannot plan for certain things happening on the day ahead of time. I honestly believe in having a top five in my batting order who I rely on, but you need everyone to step up and perform.”
While Rawlins concedes it is hard to see certain players miss out on the final selection, he is pleased with the strength in depth on offer within the squad.
“I had some big conversations with the coaching team and we’ve come up with a 14-man squad, which for me is strong,” he said. “It is never easy leaving people out, but I’m pleased to back these players.
“We had some long discussions about our potential XI. I definitely feel like we have enough options with the ball and I’m definitely confident we can bat strongly all the way down the order to 9 or 10.
“That’s a real positive for me as captain and definitely makes my life easier if certain players don’t have a great day.”
Delray Rawlins, Kamau Leverock, Terryn Fray, Tre Manders, Dominic Sabir, Charles Trott, Allan Douglas Jr, Zeko Burgess, Sinclair Smith, Macquille Walker, Derrick Brangman, Cejay Outerbridge, Jarryd Richardson, Alje Richardson.
Reserves: Justin Pitcher, JD Albertze, Jabari Darrell
Meanwhile, the International Cricket Council has confirmed the seven venues in the Caribbean that will host the World Cup from June 4 to 30.
Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago will host games along with three venues in the United States – Dallas, Florida and New York.
ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice said: “They are all popular venues with players and fans alike that will provide a wonderful backdrop to the event.
“This will be the third ICC senior men’s event hosted by West Indies, and the matches will again give cricket fans the unique experience of enjoying cricket in the Caribbean. I’d like to thank Cricket West Indies and the seven host governments for their continued commitment and support of our sport.”