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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."
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and AfricaFeeds: Martin Williamson
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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.