Irving Romaine and his 19-man national cricket squad will face some familiar opposition on their Trinidad training camp in the New Year.
Top Trinidadian club sides Clico Preysal - who won all five of their matches on a tour to Bermuda in late September - Wanderers Cricket Club and Clarke Road United have all been lined up to play Bermuda over the course of their 11-day stay on the island, their fourth training trip to the Caribbean under coach Gus Logie's tenure. As usual, Bermuda will be based at the Frank Worrell Cricket Academy near the village of Couva, some 40 miles from the capital Port of Spain, where there is little else to do but sleep, eat and practice.
'Trinidad really is a good fit for us,' Logie said of his homeland yesterday. 'It's obviously where we are going to be playing our World Cup matches so it's important we give the players as much time as possible to get used to the conditions there. And we've got everything we need in terms of practice facilities and support."
'Traditionally we've always done quite well after a training camp down there and with the World Cricket League tournament coming up at the end of January (in Nairobi, Kenya), we saw it as a perfect opportunity to get the guys away from everything again and prepare thoroughly.
'We always try and play some practice matches while we're down there and we're going to play three teams who we've come up against before, who've got some good players and who are steeped in the art of swing and spin. 'It's just the sort of challenge we need ahead of Kenya.'
Despite the disruption of the holidays, Logie said, most of the squad have been in the gym twice a day since returning from their ill-fated tour of Africa at the beginning of the month, where many of the players were once again stung by criticism of their weight in comparison to other teams of a similar standard.
The squad had their first outdoor training session at the National Sports Centre on Wednesday morning and the coach said he had been pleased by a noticeable lift in intensity and focus.
'I'm happy with the way in which the players have responded to the disappointments of the Africa tour,' he said. 'The only way to recover from that is just to work harder and I think most of the players have put the problems of the last tour behind them and are now fully concentrated on what is coming up.
'We're trying to treat the World Cricket League as just another tournament, but at the same time we're all aware what an important one it is for us - sort of a mini World Cup - which will give us a good idea of our progress and where we stand in terms of (the ICC Trophy in) 2009.'
Trinidad scheduleJanuary 8 - Bermuda depart