December 12, 2006

Bermuda

Concerns grow as Bermuda struggle

Martin Williamson

Bermuda's recent performances have been the subject of some intense media criticism in the wake of a poor African tour where they were whitewashed by Kenya and also beaten by Netherlands and Canada. Now Richard Done, the ICC's High Performance Manager, has questioned the side's fitness levels.

"It's generally application of what they've already got," Done told the Royal Gazette in Bermuda. "There's some talented players there. But I think they don't always give themselves the best opportunity to get their minds right and their bodies right to perform on the field.

"Fitness is critical, not just at this level playing one-day internationals, but also playing the longer version of the game," he continued. "You just can't get by without it in the modern game. West Indies, through the 1980s and Australia through the 1990s and the early part of this decade have been outstanding, and I think without doubt they've been the fittest sides in world cricket, and the most athletic and most physical sides playing the game. Of course, they've had great skill levels as well."

Gus Logie, the former West Indian batsman and current coach of Bermuda, expressed concern over the margin of defeats; Canada and Holland won by nine and seven wickets recently. "In the field, we were the slowest team in the competition," he said. "A lot of excuses can be given. People talk about playing for their places in the World Cup, but if that's the way they're going to play for their places well, I'm sorry, their places will be up for grabs."

Logie was happy with the presence of David Hemp, the Glamorgan captain, who was recently recruited after he completed a 100-day residency period that allowed him to play for Bermuda. Hemp, 34, was born in Hamilton, Bermuda, but his family returned to Swansea soon after his birth. In a drawn four-day Intercontinental Cup against Holland in South Africa, he smashed an unbeaten 247 in Bermuda's total of 620, and broke the previous mark of 220 set by Kenya's Steve Tikolo.

"Having Hemp here has been a big plus," said Logie. "The players have been able to watch and appreciate how, as a professional, he prepares and his dedication to getting the best out of himself."

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Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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Posted by Toby on (March 5, 2007, 16:18 GMT)

fabfivelovejohn:

The last time you checked on the three facets of cricket, did you not find any slim bowlers who've been included in sides despite batting or fielding weaknesses?

Cricket is a game of skill, and Leverock is no more hapless in the field than the likes of Panesar. Theatrics and running notwithstanding, he's a handier batsman than Panesar or McGrath. So what if he's fat? As you yourself acknowledge, he's the best bowler Bermuda have, and he is in that side on merit.

Could it be that seeing a 300lb man playing international cricket has offended your sensibilities? Could it be that a feeling of misguided superiority led you to begin your post with the condescending line "Unfortunately you are mistaken in your assessment Mr. Rollins"?

Who cares? Leverock will be playing for Bermuda for a good few years yet, no matter how much that burns you.

Posted by fabfivelovejohn on (December 23, 2006, 21:54 GMT)

Unfortunately you are mistaken in your assessment Mr Rollins. The current one day game has no place for 300 pound one point men, albeit with a lot of heart. Despite the fact that he is arguably Bermuda's best bowler, cricket (the last time i checked) has three facets, and bowlers have to compete in all three aspects of the game. Unlike regional cricket games at the Prospect Oval, the captain cannot hide players when fielding whilst competing at this level, inept fielders can not run to slip and/or 3rd man. There are too many people that need to be hidden on the team as it is, and this is not fair to other players who have to carry the load for the weaker fielders. Even placing weaker fielders in single saving positions is not a solution because the opposition will run at will. As stated, this only puts more pressure on other team members who I'm sure are not happy having to do all the 'donkey work'. Also, running between the wicket is not Sluggo's strong point. He actually avoids taking singles and selfishly attempts to keep his wicket intact without rotating the strike whilst focusing on crowd entertaining theatrics, this will not cut it at this level. So the question is do you take very good one point players? My answer is no. If Bermuda had others who could bowl just as good and could hold thier own in the other facets of the game we would not be having this conversation. It would be a no brainer that 300 pounders are more suited for Sunday afternoon NFL games rather than the cricket field !!

Posted by Andrew Rollins on (December 21, 2006, 0:03 GMT)

While I agree with 98% of your comments on the Bermuda cricket team, I have to comment about the biggest member of the team. Dwayne Sluggo Leverock. How fit do you really need to be? He bowled a total of 47overs in one of the 4 day games. If he had to run a race with the rest of the team, he would not come last, he can bat and hates to give his wicket away and gives 200% every time he plays for club or country. Every time people talk about their fitness they talk about Sluggo Leverock but the truth is if we had approx nine more sluggos and one David Hemp,we would have a much better team. I played cricket with his late father and he was bigger than Sluggo but fitter and faster than most people on the team. In the ends it all comes down to heart. If only England had more heart against Australia they might still have the Ashes Trohpy

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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