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Good, bad, but mostly ugly for cricket in 2014

The year has come to an end and it’s time we reflect on cricket in general for 2014. There was the good, the bad and the ugly, but as we reflect, we must learn from our good and our bad, so that we can grow and have an even better 2015.

Let’s start with the good in 2014. The Bermuda Cricket Board reverted to two divisions for the domestic league programme, which made for some very competitive cricket in both divisions.

St David’s won the Premier Division by defeating Southampton Rangers in the last league game of the year.

Flatts also got promoted when many, including myself, did not give them a chance after they lost three key players to Southampton at the beginning of the season.

Bermuda cricket fans got to witness a star in the making, as young Delray Rawlins scored a half-century on his debut at Cup Match. He then followed it up by scoring the most runs in the under-19 triangular tournament that was held in Bermuda, including Canada and the United States. Delray was also selected to Bede’s School Emerging Talent Programme in England.

The highlight of the summer without a doubt has to be the dethroning of the Eastern Counties champions St. David’s, with a very clinical, tactical and flawless display from Cleveland County. Cleveland fans had to wait some 33 years, but many will tell you it was well worth the wait, as the celebrations at Cleveland went on months after.

The bad: the North Field wicket at the National Sports Centre once again came under scrutiny during the under-19 tournament. During one game, it was so bad that the officials had to stop the match to approach the coaches and match officials to discuss whether or not to continue.

Several senior players once again neglect to train and represent their country, thus causing Bermuda to field a much weaker team in the most prestigious tournament. Why? This is the question that many around cricket in Bermuda want to know. In any other country, players would drop everything in a heartbeat if they were called upon to represent their country, but not in Bermuda.

Also, too many games around Bermuda were called off because of rain, but could have been avoided if clubs had proper covers in place.

This is something that needs strongly to be looked at in 2015. Clubs have to ensure that they have the manpower in place and that the covers are durable enough to sustain bad weather.

The ugly: it does not get any worse then the catastrophe in Malaysia. Bermuda were demoted into ICC World Cricket League Division Four after some uncharacteristic displays of cricket. Bermuda went into the tournament with high hopes of gaining promotion into Division Two, but could manage only one victory.

To make matters worse, the way in which they showed a lack of national pride in the final game against the US was totally embarrassing, thus prompting an investigation by the BCB.

The Lindo’s T20 final was postponed until this year after players were reportedly shot at. Whether this game will be played in 2015 is something for the BCB to decide upon, as player safety must come first.

Overall, the 2014 cricket season was a vast improvement from 2013. The matches were much more competitive. Player deportment was better for the most part, but could still improve. The standard of the wickets overall was fairly decent, but again could still improve.

The quality of the cricket, which is the most important component, was satisfactory and could improve tremendously, provided that clubs want it to improve. Clubs have to re-evaluate this past season and identify ways that they can improve their programmes, along with the BCB.

Where cricket goes is and will be determined by those who are associated in cricket in any capacity. There is no quick fix to the problems that lie before us as a country.

The problems will not be solved overnight, but we must all strive to be part of the solution so that in another five years’ time we can see our cricket prosper once again.

Happy New Year.