Sam Stevens, The Royal Gazette
Bermuda's cricketers have been given the toughest of all draws at next year's Stanford 20-20 tournament where they will face defending champions Guyana in Antigua — though a clearly frustrated Gus Logie believes this is the least of our worries right now.
The Stanford draw was the furthest thing from Logie's mind when asked to comment yesterday, with the Trinidadian making no attempt to disguise his despair at what he sees as the currently dire state of local cricket.
A lack of commitment from his national team players to training and the two-year ban handed down to talented left-handed opener Treadwell Gibbons — together with his burgeoning anxiety over the absence of an accredited home grown and the generally poor state of practice facilities — have left the national coach scratching his head in bemusement.
'Guyana is the least of our worries right now — we've got to get our own house in order first before we start thinking about the Stanford tournament,' he said.
'There are a number of things which are bothering me and you only have to look in the paper today (yesterday) to see that all is not well. The commitment to training (from potential national team players) has been very disappointing, and the Sports Centre is still not providing us with all the facilities we need.
'Practice facilities across the Island are not where they need to be and we've got a Stanford crew coming down to inspect the Island soon (Texas billionaire Allen Stanford gave $100,000 to the Bermuda Cricket Board last year to be distributed among the clubs for infrastructure development) and we really want to make a good impression — which I cannot say for sure is going to happen.
'I'm trying to be patient and not get frustrated but it is a frustrating situation because there are a lot of things we are trying to accomplish which are not going to be possible if the situation continues as it is.'
Asked once again if was considering quitting the job he has held since 2004 — despite being contracted for another two years — Logie insisted he was fully committed to the Bermuda cause and would not be leaving prematurely.
And he pledged 'to make the best of difficult circumstances' — though he warned that without drastic improvements to the players' mentality and the domestic infrastructure, national teams under his charge would never be as well prepared as they should be.
'It's difficult because there is a lot of pressure on all of us — me, the Board and the team — to deliver results, but we're going to be undercooked once again (when the squad leaves for a late summer tour of Denmark, Holland and Ireland in August).
'I'm trying to be as upbeat as I can be and do what I can to improve the situation, but I cannot do it all on my own. The message that needs to be put out there is that we need to be working together, we all need to be on the same page and focusing on the same thing.'
Meanwhile, in a press statement released yesterday it was revealed that Bermuda will play Ramnaresh Sarwan's Guyana on February 2 next year in the lucrative knockout competition — which is hosted by Stanford at his Sticky Wicket ground in the Antiguan capital St. John's.
Irving Romaine's men endured a baptism of fire last year in the inaugural event, as mighty Jamaica bulldozed through Bermuda's batting order — dismissing the team for a mere 75 — before knocking off the runs in just five overs.
Bermuda's misery was compounded by the fact that it was the team's first game on live television.
This year, Stanford has added two new teams to the mix — Cuba and the Turks and Caicos — while he has also pledged to invest an incredible $100 million into the competition and the region's cricketing infrastructure over the next three years.
'At some point I expect to make a profit, something that needs to happen for the longevity of the programme and will provide essential funding for West Indies Cricket,' Stanford said.
'I have committed my resources and I believe that within the next three years we will have a world-beating West Indies team again. The Stanford 20-20 programme is going to be the instrument that brings about that success, the catalyst that takes us back to the glory days of West Indies cricket.'
The best players from the Stanford competition will also be selected to represent the region in the Stanford Super Stars Tournament, to be played later in the year.
Dependant on the International Cricket Council and other approvals, four ICC teams will be invited to come to Antigua to play against each other in a single elimination knockout competition.
The winner of those matches will play the Stanford Super Stars for a jackpot of $20 million.