Jones has the makings of a natural leader
By Clay Smith
Bermuda cricketers will soon be preparing for the ICC World Cricket League Division Three Tournament, which will be played in Uganda from October 26 to November 2.
However, the issue of captaincy continues to be an area of uncertainty.
Who will captain Bermuda come October? Will it be the regular 50 over captain Stephen Outerbridge, the recent Twenty20 skipper Janeiro Tucker or could we see someone new like Dion Stovell or Malachi Jones taking the role? Outerbridge was Bermuda's last 50 over captain, but he was relieved of the duties for the T20 tournament in Dubai last October, in favour of Tucker.
Outerbridge wasn't even selected as part of the final squad for the T20 tournament, which asks questions about his role as captain under Arnold Manders, the Bermuda coach.
When the selectors pick the training squad they should immediately confirm the captain for this tournament. This is something that must not linger on.
When the team needs to be motivated in training, the captain is the person who should be spurring the players on.
When the coaching staff discuss tactics the captain should be in on every discussion.
The captain is a vital part of the team.
I hope that I'm jumping the gun here with the captaincy issue, as Outerbridge hasn't been informed that he won't lead the team.
However, on the other hand, no one has informed him that he's still the captain.
I would like to think that when he was made captain it was with the future in mind, as he still has some three to five years left at the highest level.
If Bermuda is looking for a new captain, one player comes to mind and that is Malachi Jones. Last weekend I witnessed Jones captain Willow Cuts. I was quite surprised with his knowledge of the game, his rotation of his bowlers, his field placement and his leadership.
His team seemed to respond to his every move with great support and respect. These are all great characteristics of a good captain.
Being a former captain, I know exactly what to look for in a leader. One thing that stands out to me when trying to identify a quality captain is whether he is proactive or reactive.
Proactive captains can see or anticipate something happening before it happens so they adjust beforehand, whereas reactive captains wait until something happens first before making a change.
Outerbridge has done no wrong and still deserves a go at the captaincy providing he still wants the role.
He has the knowledge and the personality to lead Bermuda. There has been very little 50 over cricket since he took over so it would be unfair to judge him.
If for some reason he doesn't want the role or is replaced, Jones should strongly be considered. In Jones you have a 50 over and a T20 captain, as his style of play is suited to both forms of cricket.
Captaincy either enhances your game or hinders it, as some people love the extra pressure, while others don't.
One only has to look at the season Jones has had so far to know that the role of captaincy has elevated his game to a whole new level. He is definitely one to consider for the future, if not now.
Again, Outerbridge has done nothing wrong in his role as 50 over captain and at the very least deserves a chance to lead Bermuda in Uganda.
Hopefully, the Bermuda Cricket Board or the coaching staff will come forward in the near future and erase any doubts pertaining to the captaincy. That way the players and coaches can focus on their preparations properly without this issue being a distraction.
Quote of the week: “Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.”
— John Wooden