Walsh, Samuels won’t rule out suiting up for tour
Melbourne Cricket Club arrived in Bermuda last night for a whirlwind five-match tour.
The Jamaican team touched down at LF Wade Airport shortly before 9pm on the American Airlines flight from Miami.
Among those on hand to greet the visitors, who will face Jamaican Cricket Association in their tour opener at Somerset Cricket Club today (6.30pm), were Somerset President Alfred Maybury, Jamaican Association President Marlene Flynn-Carty and Director of Youth and Sport Norbert Simons.
Melbourne’s 13-strong squad was accompanied by coach Robert Samuels and legendary West Indies fast bowler Courtney Walsh who said local cricket fans can expect to be treated to some exciting cricket over the next several days.
“We are here to play some good cricket and do the best we can so that both teams can benefit from this exercise and we are really looking forward to these games,” he told
The Royal Gazette. “The guys are ready to go and this is a good opportunity for the club and the youngsters who will try and put on a very good show against the Bermuda teams.”
Walsh and fellow former West Indies player Samuels haven’t ruled out the possibility of suiting up during Melbourne’s tour.
“The captain (Andre McCarty) has to go back to national duty and we’re going to be one short so there’s a possibility we may play,” he said. “But we want to make sure we give these kids as much games as possible.”
Samuels’ arrival on the Island coincided with the announcement that younger brother Marlon has been chosen as one of five Wisden Cricketers-of-the-Year.
“That is very good news and I am very happy for him,” said Samuels, who previously toured Bermuda with the West Indies ‘A’ and Jamaican national teams in the 1990s.
Walsh also hailed his compatriot’s achievement.
“I am very happy for him,” he said. “He has had a tremendous last couple of seasons and I’m really happy that the maturity is showing and hope he can continue this consistency in the latter half of his career.”
Tour hosts Somerset invited Melbourne CC to Bermuda to assist in the senior national team’s preparations for the World Cricket League Division 3 Tournament to be held here later this month.
The senior national team will play three 50 overs matches with the Jamaican side inside of four days.
“This is our part in trying to ensure that the Bermuda national team gets as much exposure, experience and practise as they can get,” said Somerset President Maybury. “We would like to officially welcome Melbourne CC and we look forward to five games of great cricket.”
The visitors will face hosts Somerset in their second tour match tomorrow.
“Our boys are fired up and ready to roll so it’s going to be an interesting game,” Maybury declared.
Jamaican Association President Flynn-Carty acknowledged all the hard work Somerset have put in behind the scenes to bring the tour to fruition.
“We are very pleased and we congratulate Somerset Cricket Club and in particular Charlotte Simons (Somerset secretary) who has done an extremely organised job in getting them (Melbourne CC) here,” she said. “And we are more than pleased to be part sponsor of this occasion.
“We are very delighted to welcome the team with Courtney Walsh to Bermuda and we’re excited obviously because these are our own guys and are looking forward to what they say ‘lovely cricket’.
“We are inviting the entire community, especially the Jamaican nationals, to come out and support the Jamaican team and make sure we extend them a warm welcome.”
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