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Names don’t win games, teams do

The opening of the World Cricket League Division 3 Tournament is two days away, and the order of play for Bermuda is Uganda, Oman, Nepal, Italy, and USA.

As I have expressed in previous articles the magnitude of this tournament for Bermuda is enormous.

Finishing in the top two will be our only chance of putting confidence and pride back into Bermuda cricket. I want to welcome all of the teams to Bermuda and wish them all the best in what should be an action packed week of cricket.

Bermuda let’s be honest, there is no doubt that we are not as strong as we would have liked for this tournament, but names don’t win games, teams do. The key to Bermuda’s success will be team unity.

If we don’t have that bond within the Bermuda team then we will be doomed. After each game, Team Bermuda, collectively have to walk off the field mentally and physically drained from concentrating and working so hard to save every run possible.

Our players must be in a mental state to accept changes in the batting order and be committed to excel whenever and wherever they are called upon in the team. Understanding the role required at the time is key and they must be willing to do the job required with no excuses. Great teams are made from team unity and not by individual players or performances.

Outside of team unity the next biggest thing Bermuda has to get right are our tactics. Arnold Manders, Clevie Wade and Stephen Outerbridge are the sole men responsible with this task. However, they must be willing to call on the experience of players such as David Hemp, Janeiro Tucker and Lionel Cann in their discussions to assure that no stone goes unturned.

Our coaches will be faced with many questions, and tactics will change game by game depending on the opposition and the location of the game. Our first game against Uganda at the National Sports Centre is very important as we want to begin the tournament on the front foot and get a win under our belts.

One major dilemma in my eyes is deciding who will open the batting for Bermuda? The coaches have a few options, but I believe that Dion Stovell would be one obvious choice, but his partner could be Stephen, Lionel or Jason Anderson.

Treadwell Gibbons has been tried there, but he hasn’t produced the goods and should probably bat in the middle order. Stephen has had a lot of success there lately and the importance of a left hand right hand combination early could unsettle the bowlers.

Lionel opening at the stadium is also a really good option because he can capitalise early during the power play (1st 10 overs only two fielders allowed outside the inner ring). As the size of the National Sports Centre is bigger than our other fields, his power hitting may not have the same impact in the middle order.

Having Jason open the innings with Dion gives you the player that naturally has the ability to bat long and stabilise an innings, which is the ideal thing in a 50 over game. So the coaches have options, but the importance of getting it right on the day is of the utmost importance.

The next question is what bowlers should we use to play at the National Sports Centre?

If Bermuda has done their research on the Ugandans then they would know that they love the ball coming on to them. The question the coaches will be faced with is do they go with young swing bowler Greg Maybury to offer support to Malachi Jones, or do they opt for the young left arm spinner in Delray Rawlins? The coaches may feel with Jacobi Robinson, Rodney Trott and Dion that they have enough spin bowlers, but should we take another?

Thirdly, the coaches will have to decide who will do the duties of wicketkeeping. Both Jason and Jekon Edness are very good, but I do not feel there is room enough to have both players in the team on the day.

Decisions certainly become more complicated here because Jason has proven over and over in these practice matches and previously that he can bat long and put big scores together and in my eyes is certain to start.

However, Jekon is Bermuda’s best wicketkeeper, but he hasn’t been putting together those big scores that he is capable of lately, which is a major concern.

Bermuda we have the talent and versatility in our team to win this tournament outright. Tactically, the coaches and captain have their hands full, but the experience of our coaching staff and team members will counteract any issues that we will be faced with.

The questions raised above are only a tip of the iceberg of what the coaches will have to face during this tournament and so their job is just as difficult to ensure that we as a team get it right on the day.

The reality is that game by game the tactics should change and in addition so could the team and batting order. So players, please be willing to sacrifice your own personal glory for the sake of the team. Together Everyone Achieves More.

Quote of the week: “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships” Michael Jordan

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Published April 26, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 25, 2013 at 3:26 pm)

Names don’t win games, teams do

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