The Royal Gazette mastheadA boyish grin creeps slowly across Rodney Trott's face when he recalls his tearful victory speech following Bermuda Under-19s heroes return from their World Cup qualifiers.

The history-makers had just disembarked at L.F. Wade International Airport from Canada, the scene of their triumph, when Trott was tasked with performing his captain's duty of addressing the welcoming committee.

Tired, emotional and before an array of government dignitaries and media, Trott struggled to contain his joyous tears and was rewarded with a comforting embrace from Premier Ewart Brown.

It was a touching moment and one that holds no embarrassment, just slight amusement, for the 20-year-old. For those tears are the tell-tale signs of Trott's pride and passion for leading the Under-19s on their maiden World Cup voyage to Malaysia. They may be entering unknown territory, but Trott is optimistic his troops will negotiate the unchartered waters and make Bermuda proud.

"Everyone knows what it means to me to captain Bermuda at a World Cup," says Trott. "When we returned from Canada I cried in front of everybody. That's not something I usually do.

"It's an honour and privilege to captain my country and this team is working hard to put the Island on the cricketing map. I really think we can compete and these guys need to start backing themselves, that's the key."

One of the few rays of hope to emerge from the national team's recent tour of Kenya and United Arab Emirates was the burgeoning all-rounder, who batted with a maturity and discipline that should embarrass some of his senior colleagues.

The tours marked another stage in his evolution from promising colt into senior starter with the St. George's youngster describing the impressive displays as among his best for his country.

"I've been involved with the national team for quite some time but I felt the recent tours saw my best performances," said the off-spinner. "I felt as though I'd a permanent spot in the team.

"I've taken a lot of confidence from Kenya and the UAE and that should serve me well when I return to under-19 competition. Although I wouldn't say there's a big gap between the teams we'll face in Malaysia, considering England will have county players, and I don't want to be too confident.

"At the same time the experiences I gain from the senior squad I always try and give to the other Under-19 guys so they benefit from the same exposure."

Next week Bermuda travel to Trinidad for 10 days of intensive training before completing their World Cup preparations in India, where they will encounter the same dusty, spinners tracks expected in Malaysia in February.

Ridiculously, they have been consigned solely to indoor training ahead of the showpiece because of a complete dearth of outdoor facilities. The much-needed sessions on grass wickets cannot come soon enough for Bermuda's sporting success story of 2007 - with Trott unable to disguise his frustrations.

"It's a big problem for the team," he affirms. "The fast bowlers are unable to bowl off their full run-ups indoors. For the guys who have been involved with the senior squad it probably hasn't been such a problem as we've been playing and training outside in other countries. But at the end of the day cricket is an outdoor sport."

The next time Trott touches down at L.F. Wade International Airport, Bermuda's World Cup campaign will be done and dusted. In the meantime the Island will dream of a repeat of his now infamous tears of joy.