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They've already conquered the Caribbean. And now Bermuda Masters cricket team have set their sights on South America and the UK.

The Island's over-45 cricket ambassadors recently accepted invitations to compete in Surrey and Argentina. Last month saw the local team - under the captaincy of Lionel Thomas - clinch the Antigua Independence Cricket Festival at the first attempt.

However, the champions will not be back to defend their title next year as they will instead be hoping for repeat success in Europe next July and in South America in 2008.

Bermuda Masters established close ties with representatives of England's Masters team in the Caribbean last month, a bond that has now opened new doors for the local cricket ambassadors.

'We became very good friends and they threw out all sorts of challenges to us. But of course Canada upset the apple cart and beat them and we never got to play them,' Bermuda Masters founding member Allen Richardson explained.

'So they invited us over to England next year to play in a Masters Tournament in Surrey and we are also going to play a 40-over match against the England Masters who are going to put up a trophy.'

And to fund future tours the Island's cricket ambassadors have planned various fundraising activities locally. 'We will be doing our own fundraising and a lot of the guys feel it's now time to give something back to the community because the community has always supported us when we were playing. So we want to become more community orientated as a team,' Richardson continued.

'One of the areas we are looking at are rest homes to see if they need any cleaning up or any painting to be done. So you see not only are the guys willing to promote cricket, but they also have a sense of community awareness as well.'

The team have also encouraged sponsors to come on board.

'I think it would be great if each of our ambassadors could be sponsored by a company because we are looking to also get involved in community service here in Bermuda under the name of the Bermuda Masters. That's going to be a great part of our mandate,' Richardson explained.

Plans are also on the drawing table to have Bermuda play host to Masters Tournaments in the future. 'We are also looking into the possibility of having England come over here to play along with the Antiguan, Canadian and New Jersey Masters teams,' Richardson said.

'They are all keen to come, but obviously we will have to work out the logistics first and ensure that our team is formed on a good foundation.'

In addition some of the team members who are qualified cricket coaches also plan to hold cricket lectures and various drills free of charge while on tour.

'Because we have a few qualified coaches in our team we are looking to offer our services whenever we do go away,' said Richardson, who believes last month's success in the Caribbean has given team members a new lease on life in a cricket sense. I think this is a new lease on life for the players who surprisingly can still hold their own. 'This success has given them a new sense that we as cricketers enjoy - and that is the camaraderie and friendships that we've made over the years,' Richardson added.

'So it's good to have to group back again and gelling very well together. I think cricket is a game that teaches you more about life than any other sport. And the discipline that is required and camaraderie is unbelievable. 'Cricket opens so many doorways and is probably the greatest sport when it comes to socialising and creating an avenue to gain life friends.'