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The Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) has handed batsman Deunte Darrell a six-month ban from international cricket and placed him on probation until October 2011 for misconduct on a tour of Barbados.
A disciplinary committee punished Darrell for breaching the board's code of conduct while representing Bermuda Under-19s at this summer's Sir Garry Sobers Tournament during which he is said to have broken curfew and the BCB's non-drinking policy.
According to the Bermuda Sun, Darrell's parents intend to appeal against the suspension which has deprived Bermuda's Under-19s, currently preparing for February’s Under-19 World Cup qualifiers in the United States, of one of their leading players.
Bermuda Under-19 coach, Andre Manders, said Darrell's services would be missed but is confident other players can fill the void.
"It's not good to lose a batsman of Deunte's calibre, but we have to just try and move along and hopefully the other guys will step it up in his absence," he said.
Darrell, 17, was voted most valuable player in this year's Cup Match, the island's premier domestic two-day fixture, for his first-innings knock of 72 for Somerset against St. George's.
Florida will host the Under-19 Americas Championships from February 3-8 where Bermuda face regional rivals US, Canada, Cayman Islands, Bahamas and Argentina, with the top two teams progressing to the global qualifiers in Ireland next July. Six teams then advance to the 2012 ICC Under-19 World Cup in Argentina.
Bermuda made their Under-19 World Cup debut in Malaysia in 2007 and Manders backed his side to qualify again. "I think we have a realistic chance of qualifying. A lot of these boys have lots of experience playing Premier Division cricket, while five of them [Damali Bell, Christian Burgess, Kamau Leverock, Joshua Gilbert and Kevon Fubler] are also training with the senior national team."
Assistant editor Sahil Dutta grew up supporting England during the 90s. Despite this, he still enjoys the game. His unrequited passions for Graeme Hick and, in latter years, Vikram Solanki gave him a stoicism that guided him through an Economics degree and a stint working at the European Parliament. He maintains the purest love for Tests and the whims of legspin bowling and still harbours hope that he could be the answer to England's long search for a mystery spinner. As it is, his most exciting cricketing experience was planning a trip to Australia for the 2006-07 Ashes with two utterly indifferent friends. Unfortunately his lung collapsed shortly before his planned departure and the pair were left to wander around from Test to Test, unprepared and clueless. Any comparisons with England are far too obvious to make. That cancelled holiday inspired an Ashes blog which led, via some tea-making at the Wisden Cricketer, to the ESPNcricinfo towers.