Colin Thompson, The Royal Gazette (Bermuda)
Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) president, Reggie Pearman, has blamed complacency as well as lack of national pride and fitness for the Island's gradual fall from grace since qualifying for a maiden World Cup nearly four years ago.
Bermuda were stripped of their one-day international (ODI) status after failing to qualify for the 2011 World Cup and relegated to Division Two of the ICC Pepsi World Cricket League in South Africa last week.
Going into World Cup qualifiers, Pearman said expectations were high for Bermuda to re-qualify for world cricket's premier showpiece and retain their ODI status.
"It wasn't what we expected but we had do with what we had. The performances in a lot of cases have not been what we had expected and we have fallen down on those performances," the Board chief told The Royal Gazette.
"It all boils down to a sense of pride, and I don't think it has hit everybody. I think we have lost that national pride and it's not only in cricket. It's just a whole different mindset today and I don't think our guys read the game or talk enough about cricket to each other. I think they just talk when the game is on and then when it's over don't think about it anymore."
Once again Bermuda's fitness came under the microscope as well as the team's hunger and commitment to cause in South Africa.
"What we (BCB) have tried to emphasize is that the guys have got to be fit and I think the general attitude of the players has to change because we have got to want it," Pearman added.
Bermuda qualified for a maiden World Cup in Ireland nearly four years ago and with it ODI status and considerable ICC funding. Yet despite the many opportunities on offer, Pearman believes Bermuda failed to make the most of them and simply allowed complacency to set in.
"I think we were overwhelmed to the point that we figured the World Cup was the epitome of cricket, but it's not. And it's disappointing that we haven't qualified for the next World Cup," he added.
"When we first qualified for the World Cup in 2005 we realised that once you are on this stage it's a whole new ball game all together. You are on the world stage and everything has to change, but it hasn't to an extent."
Making Bermuda's failed 2011 World Cup bid all the more bitter to swallow is the amount of time, money and effort Government and the Board have invested in the sport.
"Government and the Board have put a lot of money into cricket and have caught hell all the way around. We (BCB) bent over backwards in lot of areas and given the players what they want. They asked for money and they are now perhaps the highest paid Associate," Pearman said.
In the wake of Bermuda's fall from grace, coach Gus Logie has endured his share of criticism with some going as far as to call for his head to roll.
Pearman, however, has backed the Trinidadian to the core and believes his comments in a recent cricinfo article scolding his team's lack of "desire" and "professionalism" in South Africa were "justified".
"I think he is justified in saying what he did because who else would know the team better than him? Gus could see that those guys could do better," he said.
Logie's contract with the Board expires in September and Pearman makes it no secret that he would rather have the former West Indies cricketer remain onboard.
"I admire Gus because he's stuck with it and personally I would like to see him stay on," he said.
"I think Gus has done a Yeoman job working with what he has to work with. He's not always going to get it right, but I can sympathize with him. Gus has played the game at the pro level and so our guys should try and take a page from his book."