Bermuda April 25, 2009

Bermuda's global conspiracy theories

Over the last couple of years Cricinfo has carried a number of articles criticising the approach of a number of the Bermuda players

Over the last couple of years Cricinfo has carried a number of articles criticising the approach of a number of the Bermuda players. These have been endorsed publicly by individuals within the country’s cricket fraternity and privately by many across the Associate world.

One of those criticisms has been the refusal of many involved to acknowledge their own responsibilities. An article by Clay Smith in the Royal Gazette sums that attitude up perfectly.

At the recent ICC World Cup Qualifiers, Bermuda not only failed to qualify for the 2011 World Cup, they also lost their ODI status. So who’s fault was that? Well, according to Smith, the blame lies with the ICC and Cricinfo.

The ICC? Well, Smith argues that the entire process of selecting teams for ODIs and the Intercontinental Cup was devised to ensure that Bermuda did not meet the grade. The fact they finished ninth is immaterial. “In my opinion the new system was set up to make sure that we as a small country did not qualify again,” he claimed. The reality is that the process now is more transparent than ever. Bermuda failed to qualify because they were not good enough on the field.

And Cricinfo? Well, Smith insists that “Cricinfo have been awaiting our demise”. If he cares to read what has been written, Bermuda were seen as a breath of fresh air when they qualified for the 2007 World Cup. However, the on-field performances have been poor. More importantly, off the field, some of the activities have been nothing short of appalling for a team hoping to sit at cricket’s top table. We reported what we saw and did so honestly.

For the record, Bermuda have some excellent youngsters. If they can be brought on without adopting the attitude of some of their seniors, if the country’s infrastructure can be made robust, if the board can be purged of deadwood and populated by enthusiastic and forward-looking people, Bermuda can bounce back.

But until the likes of Smith sit back and admit to the real reasons Bermuda failed so badly in South Africa – and before – then nothing will change. Too many people are looking to blame anyone other than themselves. To accuse the ICC and the media of a conspiracy is daft. The reasons are there for all to see – just look in the mirror.

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