ICC Media Release
Bermudan cricket is heading in the right direction and will continue as a force to be reckoned with in the coming years, according to national team captain Irving Romaine.
Speaking ahead of his side's ICC Intercontinental Cup match against Ireland in Dublin, which begins on Thursday, Romaine said that despite some disappointing results of late, he was still optimistic for the future of the game in Bermuda.
'This is very much a time for rebuilding,' said Romaine. 'We lost half our team after the World Cup, players like Saleem Mukuddem, Dean Minors, Clay Smith, Janeiro Tucker and Kwame Tucker, so that is not easy to recover from.
'But I am hopeful for the future because we have a lot of good teenagers coming through now. Our under-19s just qualified for next year's ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup (for the first time in Bermuda's history) and there is still enormous interest in cricket at home,' he said.
The Bermuda squad is about to be bolstered by the return of some of those under-19 heroes who did so well at the recent qualifying tournament in Toronto. Stefan Kelly, Malachi Jones, Chris Douglas and Rodney Trott will fly in to Ireland this week full of confidence after their recent successes.
'We are a relatively inexperienced side now and it is up to some of those under-19s to show what they can do. They are going to be the heart of this team for the coming years as we build towards the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011 and it will be interesting to see how they develop,' said Romaine.
Although the team has not been having the best time on its current European tour - it lost by an innings to the Netherlands in its ICC Intercontinental Cup match in Amstelveen last week - the captain's own form has been one shining light. He made an unbeaten 103 out of his side's total of 183 all out in the first innings of that game and has been hitting the ball beautifully of late.
'I suppose I have realised I have a huge responsibility to contribute with the bat every time I go out there and I'm enjoying that added pressure. I'm feeling good at the moment and so hopefully that will improve,' he said.
It will not be an easy task for Romaine and his men as they face defending champion Ireland on its own patch. The swinging ball in Amstelveen was too much for many Bermudan batsmen to handle last week and they needn't think it will be any easier at the Castle Avenue ground in Dublin.
Ireland will be keen to register its first outright win of this campaign after inclement weather meant its opener against Scotland in Stormont ended in a draw.
Ireland will be missing a small number of key players with Middlesex left-hander Eoin Morgan turning out for his county, opening batsman Jeremy Bray still unavailable for selection and seam bowler Boyd Rankin sidelined due to injury.
Morgan's absence earns another recall for the experienced and versatile Dominick Joyce who, although just 26, has already amassed 69 caps for his country.
Ireland (from): Trent Johnston (captain), Andre Botha, Alex Cusack, Thinus Fourie, Dominick Joyce, David Langford-Smith, Kyle McCallan, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Greg Thompson, William Porterfield, Andrew White.
Bermuda (from): Irving Romaine (captain), Stephen Outerbridge, Dwayne Leverock, Lionel Cann, Jekon Edness, James Celestine, Arthur Pitcher, Ryan Steede, George O'Brien, Roderick Masters, Stefan Kelly, Chris Douglas, Malachi Jones, Rodney Trott.
Umpires: Nils Bagh, Charlie McElwee.