Tuesday, July 23, 2019

World Beyond the Cup - Tete-a-tete with Cricket Bermuda

DHCF: The national team is nicknamed Gombey Warriors. What does it stand for?

BCB:  It is a tradition that began when blacks were first brought from Africa and the Caribbean. “Gombey” is derived from an African word meaning rhythm. They were originally intended to perform only on Boxing Day (December 26) and New Year’s Day – the two days of the year when they were given a rest from their labours. Its a tribute to them. The reference to ‘Warriors’ is the competitive spirit of the national teams, as we are always competing against countries with a much larger population. Read more on it here

DHCF: Bermuda is hosting the ICC WT20 Americas Qualifiers finals. How are preparations going both as a host and as a participant?

BCB: The preparations are going as planned. Our national Senior’ Men’s Coach Mr. Herbie Bascome is having a pool of 30+ players to select from.

DHCF: What is the target of the team with respect to WT20?

BCB: Our target is to qualify as one of the top 2 teams in this competition and advance to the final qualifying round later this year.

DHCF: We noticed Bermuda is still un-ranked in T20I. It must be due to less number of matches played. Does Bermuda plan to play more matches?

BCB:  The challenges all of our national sports groups face is the playing of regular and internationally ranked matches. Due to our geographical location, we are faced with the cost of travel and VISA requirements by visiting teams, via the USA or Canada. Due to the new ICC competition (World Cup Challenge League) structure we will have more frequent matches on a regular basis.

DHCF :What is the short term and long term plan for Bermuda Cricket Board?

BCB: The short-term plan for the Bermuda Cricket Board is  to return to the competitive arena and analyse where we stand internationally. The long-term plan is to develop our next strategic plan for 2020 -2024 cycle.

DHCF: What is the domestic structure like in Bermuda?

BCB: The domestic structure is based on a club/recreational level of cricket with the more advanced players, seeking opportunities in the UK via county cricket.

DHCF: How popular is the sport in Bermuda and what measures are being taken to take it further?

BCB: Cricket is the second most popular sport in Bermuda next to football. To take the sport further, we are creating new partnerships with clubs, schools and other grassroots organisations.

DHCF: What are the plans to improve the standard of cricket?

BCB: To improve the standard of cricket, we are going to work closer with schools to develop a fun but technical development program. The concept is to focus on the basics but provide a more inclusive approach, to attract kids into our cricket clubs.

DHCF: Dwayne Leverock's catch in 2007 WC is one of the most iconic catches in WC history and it is how people still remember Bermuda from that WC. 2005-2007 was one of the best phases of Bermuda cricket. Post that there has been a steep decline in the fortunes. What happened and what is being done to reverse it?

BCB: Bermuda is a small island of 65,000 people that punched above our weight during the 2007 World Cup. It was a major achievement similar to Leicester winning the English Premier League and due to our small size, we will always be challenged to repeat that success. We are continuously reviewing and enhancing our development programs, as we aim to create another generation of exceptional talent.

DHCF: Bermuda is part of the 2019–21 ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League and will play a lot of matches in the process. It will be an opportunity to improve and qualify for the later stages and maybe the WC. How is Bermuda approaching it and planning to conquer the league?

BCB: We are approaching the qualifiers as a new opportunity to reestablish Bermuda as a major competitor in the Americas region. Our main focus is to establish a strong team bond and work towards a long-term development program, that includes the WCL and future years to come.

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