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U-19 squad can reach World Cup

The Under-19 squad that was selected by the Bermuda Cricket Board is very strong and they certainly have the potential to go on and qualify for the Youth World Cup. Bermuda will play against Canada and USA with only the winner going through.

USA and Canada will be more than ready and will surely be competitive, but this Bermuda team is one of the strongest we have had in recent years.

Let’s take a closer look at our Bermuda team:

Joshua Gilbert (captain): A seasoned player who has regularly been involved with the national team. He is naturally a spin bowler who can bat. Has been coached and played in England. Bermuda will expect him to use all of his experience to help guide us through.

Kamau Leverock (vice-captain): A very good all-rounder and his bowling ability has reached new levels since playing in England. He has genuine pace which can unsettle any team and has the potential to be an explosive bat, but in this team he may find that he needs to take less risks as a batsman and look to build a responsible innings.

Tré Manders: Excellent young bat who can score on both sides of the wicket. Tré showed Bermuda what he was capable of recently when he broke into the senior team and posted a half-century in his first game. Bermuda will be relying on Tre’s consistency to be successful.

Alex Dore: Last year he broke into Southampton Rangers first team and now opens the batting. He is a solid left hand bat who is very strong. He can also bowl slow left arm spin, which could add depth to the bowling attack.

Onias Bascome: He has been playing overseas in England and his technique as a batsman is solid. I saw him in a final Cup Match trial two years ago against some of Bermuda’s best and he scored a half-century. He can also bowl a bit if Bermuda needs a change of pace.

Christian Burgess: In St. George’s they call him the next Dean Minors. He is left handed and wicketkeeps and like Dean he can hit the ball miles for a young man. Christian has matured in his game approach and improved tremendously. His performance with the bat is key in Bermuda’s line-up.

Shaquille Jones: It is unfortunate for him that I am not a selector of Somerset because he would have played Cup Match by now. He is an exciting left handed bat with a touch of class. He can do a little bit of everything, and could be utilised as a spin bowler if the wickets are turning.

Delray Rawlins: Another player who is perfecting his craft in England. A true all-rounder who bats left handed and bowls left arm spin. Delray made his senior team debut recently and looked very comfortable. His bowling will play a major role in Bermuda’s success.

Kamel Easton: He is a Somerset player with exciting pace. He is Bermuda’s next fast bowler and will be asked to lead the attack. Kamel can also hit the ball hard, which in 50 -over cricket can come in handy at the death.

Christian Gibbons: A young medium fast bowler. Christian plays his cricket with Southampton Rangers where he opens the bowling. This will be a big challenge for him, but he has the ability to do well.

Zeko Burgess: Zeko possess raw pace. The St. George’s opening bowler will more than likely open the bowling on what are normally fast, bouncy wickets. He can also hit the ball miles as a late order bat, which is a bonus for any team.

Kwasi James: Another Somerset player with bags full of potential. Kwasi bowls some big inswingers and on his day can be a handful. His height should generate extra bounce on the Toronto wickets. His contribution as a bowler will play an important part in the team.

Azende Furbert: A versatile player who can bat, bowl and play wicketkeeper if need be, but it is his batting which he stands out for. This tournament will be his first big challenge to prove just how good he is. He is one of the players of the future to look out for.

Jordan Smith: A very young passionate player who is one for the future. He has been playing over in England and earlier this season scored a century. At his young age is he able to produce the goods at this level? I believe that with his passion for the game and both his natural and technical ability, he can to do so if given the chance.

The wickets in Toronto are normally fast and bouncy, which should suit our bowlers fine. They will be up against some very good cricketers. For example, USA has Steven Taylor who just played in Bermuda and scored a tournament high of 162 against Nepal. Canada have Nitish Kumar who is a regular in the Canadian senior team and recently played at the last World Cup.

Bermuda will have a week long training camp prior to going to Toronto, which should give them time to gel and discuss team tactics. This is a massive tournament as it’s a direct route to play against some of the best young players in the world. It may even be a good idea to get in two or three practice games that week just to make sure everybody is firing on all cylinders once they get to Toronto.

At the end of the day preparation and discipline will be the key and the coaching staff and management will give the young men all the tools to work with. It is imperative the young men follow the game plan and remember no I is stronger than a TEAM.

* * * *A brief follow up on local cricket:

I couldn’t help but read about the cricket T20 that has started where the players are being asked to play in whites with a red ball at night, instead of coloured clothing and white balls. Whose bright idea was that?

This whole cricket thing is becoming one big farce. T20 games are also to be played at Devonshire Recreation, the smallest ground on the Island.

It will not surprise me if a game does not get completed because of shortage of balls. Clubs are asked to provide balls, but if you get a team like Southampton Rangers playing a weak team that can be brutal. Balls will become a factor unless the Cricket Board provide an abundance of them at those matches.

Already Warwick have withdrewn from the tournament as games are due to start at 5.45, which is rarely enough time for some to knock off from work, dash to the field, and play with no warm-up, nothing. Could this also be the reason why no umpires showed up at Somerset? What a shame!

With Bermuda playing in a T20 Tournament in November, would it not have made more sense to play T20 late August running into September? This would have fine-tuned the squad players right before such a major tournament. Just a thought!

Let’s see if common sense prevails.

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Published June 21, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm)

U-19 squad can reach World Cup

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