The Royal Gazette masthead

Bermuda's final 15-player squad to compete in the Cricket World Cup, now less than three months away, was selected on Monday night.

But as of yesterday not even the players themselves had been informed of Bermuda Cricket Board selection committee's decision.

Coach Gus Logie confirmed yesterday that the committee met on Monday and named the 15 players who would carry the Island's hopes into the Caribbean showpiece event in March when they will face Test nations India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in their group matches in Trinidad. Before that they face England and Zimbabwe in warm-up games in St. Vincent.

However, Logie said a public announcement would not likely be made until BCB chief executive Neil Speight returned to the Island this weekend.

A total of 16 players were used during the recent five-week tour of Africa, young Malachi Jones, who travelled to Kenya, being replaced by Lionel Cann for the South African leg of the trip.

However, notable absentees were youngsters Delyone Borden and OJ Pitcher, who continued their studies in Florida but were assured by Logie that they were still part of his long-term plans.

While players such as Saleem Mukuddem, Dean Minors, Dwayne Leverock and David Hemp would have appeared to have cemented their World Cup places with some impressive performances during the African tour, a number of the squad's other top players will have been left sweating over the Board's final selection.

Young spinner Rodney Trott, who was used sparingly on the tour, is the most obvious casualty while another youngster, UK-based pacer Stefan Kelly, might not have done enough to keep his place.

However, the committee could have decided to discard any one of a number of higher profile names such as four-day skipper Clay Smith, big-hitting Cann, injury-prone pacer Ryan Steede, spinner Hasan Durham, opener/wicketkeeper Kwame Steede or Stephen Outerbridge, none of whom showed any level of consistency during the latest tour.

One-day skipper Irving Romaine, all-rounder Janeiro Tucker and fast bowler Kevin Hurdle should all have got the nod.

Generally it's expected the squad to be announced will include the bulk of those who travelled to Africa with Borden and Pitcher returning to the fold.

While Logie, frustrated after five straight one-day losses during the tour, warned that he would be looking to bring in new players once the squad returned, the reality is that the lack of depth locally will have left he and the rest of the selection committee with few options.

Veteran Charlie Marshall, a prolific run scorer throughout his career who prior to the African tour had expressed a desire to return to the squad, has already been told he won't be recalled.

And other talents such as Glenn Blakeney and Dion Stovell ruled themselves out of contention as did the fiery George O'Brien, who was effectively booted out of the squad for lack of commitment.

At least three more tours are planned for the final squad before the World Cup, starting with a 12-day training camp in Trinidad early in January.

At the end of the month they then head back to Kenya for a series of World Cricket League one-day matches against fellow ICC Associate nations Holland, Canada, Scotland and Ireland as well as the hosts.

And while a planned trip to Dubai which was to have followed the East Africa tour has now been scrapped, matches against Bangladesh and Canada are being lined up in Antigua for mid February.