Sam Stevens, The Royal Gazette
Bermuda Cricket Board's new director of cricket development Arnold Manders has rejected calls from national team cricketer Lionel Cann for two-day cricket to be scrapped.
The explosive middle-order batsman said in an interview yesterday that the two-day leagues had been a huge disappointment, with some clubs like Bailey's Bay and Police unable to raise a side for the fixtures, which continue this weekend.
The St. David's captain criticised the Board's decision to scrap the Premier and Combined Knockout Cups and argued instead that two-day cricket should be replaced by a 20-20 competition.
'To be honest with you I would get rid of it,' Cann said.
'Bermuda is a country that is only going to play limited overs cricket at the highest level. We're never going to be a Test nation so what are we trying to develop?
'20-20 cricket and more limited overs is where cricket is heading. That's what brings the crowds in and gets the players excited . . . (Two-day cricket) is a good concept if you have the quality and quantity of players. But Bermuda doesn't have that right now. If teams are getting bowled out in 40 overs anyway, how is that any different to a limited overs game?'
Manders, however, while agreeing that the current two-day leagues are not working properly, said it was 'extremely important' nonetheless that younger players in particular had the chance to develop their techniques by being able to bat and bowl for longer periods.
The former national team all-rounder backed the arguments of coach Gus Logie, who suggested a few weeks ago that two-day cricket should be played between parishes rather than clubs.
'I don't agree that two-day cricket should be scrapped altogether — we have to find room in our system for a little bit of everything,' Manders said.
'We have a lot of work to do in terms of developing the technique of many of our younger players and you cannot do that simply by playing 20-over and 50-over cricket.
'I agree that there is a lot of strain on certain clubs in terms of being able to raise sides, and I think the suggestion Gus came up with in terms of a two-day parish league makes a lot of sense.
'If individual clubs are having trouble raising teams, then it makes sense for them to join up for the two-day competition so the player pool is bigger.
'We do play a lot of limited overs cricket at an international level, but we're also involved in the Intercontinental Cup which is played over four days. You cannot possibly prepare players for that kind of cricket by playing purely limited overs cricket in your domestic leagues.
'Everybody would agree that there are problems with the current system, and we'll have to sit down and re-think and come up with a better format which works for everybody.
'But there has to be room for two-day cricket in Bermuda.'
Today sees the start of the final round of two-day cricket for the season, with Cann's St. David's taking on defending Premier Division champions Southampton Rangers at Lords in a battle for top honours.
In the First Division, meanwhile, Western Stars take on Devonshire Rec. at St. John's Field and Leg Trappers play Social Club at the Sea Breeze Oval.
In the second division, Willow Cuts battle PHC at Somerset Cricket Club while Warwick play Cleveland at the Southampton Oval. In the Third Division, Flatts are at White Hill Field to play Somerset Bridge.