April 25, 2009

Bermuda

Bermuda's global conspiracy theories

Martin Williamson

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.

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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 Den on (June 9, 2009, 15:43 GMT)

MARCUS - Your starting to get on my nerves now. If you can't have a decent debate don't write on others comments. Tell me how to mind read like you since you assume so much of what I'm thinking? You have not heard or read my reasons of why Bermuda's cricket is where it is. Once again. I have given my thoughts to the relevant people; the Coach, the Board, and the players. Your just blowing hot air on a web site forum with immature comments. And for the record....Cricinfo have not posted all of my comments in regard to this issue. But Marcus if you want to settle this meet me up Long Bay tonight.

Posted by Marcus on (June 9, 2009, 14:49 GMT)

“Finishing 9th was not such a big deal as it is made out to be” – no, of course, No big deal. Other than missing out on a place at the World Cup and ODI status for four years.

“We were not blown out by anybody. We scored 250+ against Kenya and lost. We gave Ireland a fight and came up a little short.” Er … yeh. But Bermuda still LOST. Perhaps the ICC should award status on not losing badly.

“We had players not just David Hemp perform well and were amongst the leaders in the tournament averages, etc etc etc. Open your eyes and look deeper.” This is where you leave planet earth and enter la-la land. So you judge the success of a tournament on where people finish in the averages? Surely, if some players were high in the averages and the team was still rubbish, it means the bulk of that team was appalling.

Please, get real. Start looking at how to put things right and not coming up with frankly pathetic reasons for Bermuda’s CONSISTENT and LONG-TERM shambolic displays.

Posted by Den on (June 9, 2009, 14:28 GMT)

And for the record since it's not sinking in. I personally feel that this years tournament was as fair as it possibly could be. Clay is way off base. I also feel that finishing 9th was not such a big deal as it is made out to be. Analyse the 8 teams ahead of us and you will see it. This was a very competitive tournament as the results show. We were not blown out by anybody. We scored 250+ against Kenya and lost. We gave Ireland a fight and came up a little short. We had players not just David Hemp perform well and were amongst the leaders in the tournament averages, etc etc etc. Open your eyes and look deeper.

Posted by Marcus on (June 9, 2009, 13:08 GMT)

Den - you seem to think that Cricinfo is the publicity department of the bermuda board. It's not. It reports things as it sees it. Some reports I don;t like, but I respect their views.

You should ask the BCB why they are so pathetic at flagging good-news stories.

Come on then. What good news stories are there? The U19s have been covered by cricinfo. What else is there? What has been done in the two months since Bermuda played so patheticly in SA? The coach has quit ... has anyone on the board stepped down or even accepted there is a problem?

Carry on in your ignorance. After all, Bermuda are a great side and but for the media would be at the next World Cup.

Posted by Den on (June 9, 2009, 13:01 GMT)

Marcus the point is Cricinfo only prints what it wants. How many peple actually feels as Clay Smith does? Very few if any. Yet cricinfo makes it out as if we all feel this way.

Posted by Den on (June 9, 2009, 12:52 GMT)

Marcus please. Who said it was the media's fault? Clay Smith has a weekly article. He writes what he chooses. The Board doesn't decide what Clay Smith writes. Just because he says something doesn't mean the Board or Bermuda at large feels that way. Looking at the headline and the article on Cricinfo is misleading. What can't you understand. I have printed and said many things in relation to Bermuda's failings in cricket and not just in forums like this one but also to the faces of the coach, players, and administration alike. What I want to hear is the real reasons Bermuda cricket has not elevated. It goes way deeper than just the players. In any case Marcus how are YOU or cricinfo helping the situation???? You are probably to naive to see what's happening and I wish cricinfo would do a proper article that addresses the situation instead of writing these hell bashing stories that serves no one. I still maintain my position. And longtail; PLANES LEAVE BERMUDA EVERY DAY GET ON BOARD.

Posted by Marcus on (June 9, 2009, 12:23 GMT)

Den - typical again. It's the media's fault and not Clay Smith/the Bermuda boards. When will people like you wake up and realise that you need to take the blame for your own failings.

When did the BCB "distance" themselves ... after the article was written. So it was write at the time it was published.

"Irresponsible reporting". You mean saying things you don't want to hear. There's a difference.

Posted by longtail on (June 9, 2009, 12:18 GMT)

"Now peole can see why some of us Bermudan have problems with expats like you! "

And problems with spelling, it would seem.

Posted by Den on (June 2, 2009, 14:15 GMT)

Why haven't you posted that the Bermudian Cricket Board have distance themselves from Clay Smith's comments? This is not Bermuda's conspiracy theory. This is Clay Smith's conspiracy theory. Just another example of irresposible reporting by Cricinfo when it comes to Bermuda cricket.

Posted by True Bermudian thought on (May 31, 2009, 14:20 GMT)

Hi, I feel like i have to add to this conversation. First of all, I am Bermudan. I don't agree with Clay Smith statement. However, i don't totally agree with the statement make by Longtail! Yes some Bermudian do blame expats, and those are few. Now logie was right, but he is also to take part of the blame for the failure! Very nice guy but i felt not the guy to get the job done. Great example of this was the failure to not open with Hemp in the important games. We all saw what happened when he did! Let's us look on the bright side, we do have some good young batsmen coming out, but it is the bowlig that we need great improvemnet on. And as for your final line, Longtail, that is why you are once! Not all of the public here feel like that. Now peole can see why some of us Bermudan have problems with expats like you!

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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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