Set your sights high urges coach March 29, 2007

Logie: It's time to build upon the youngsters

Bermuda's coach Gus Logie has urged the island's young cricketers to stand up and be counted as the game moves into a new era following the World Cup.

Logie said playing on the biggest stage was not something the country could afford to let slip. And he added the onus was on the next generation to show that they wanted to be a part of a bright future for the sport in Bermuda. But he insisted that players had to set their goals higher than Cup Match and realize there was a big wide world' beyond the island.

He said: "Don't settle for mediocrity, be the best you can be. There's many people who can help you, in any field, in Bermuda. Don't see Bermuda as the world - there is a big wide world out there. We've seen some young players revelling in that atmosphere. If you hit a six in the World Cup you can say you did it against the best. That has to be better than doing it against Somerset or St George's - the whole world was watching and enjoying it."

There had been fears of a mass of retirements from the World Cup team but it now seems that only three players - Lionel Cann, Dean Minors and Saleem Mukuddem - are likely to step down. But Logie said the door would reopen to younger players and insisted "it's time to rebuild."

He added: "There's no reason why we can't reach that same level (as the top Associate teams). The players know what has to be done. The onus is to rebuild, with younger players showing commitment and desire to represent their country."

There will still be room for the class of 2007 in the new-look Bermuda squad and with fixtures planned against top associates and possibly a couple of Test nations, it seems the opportunities for Bermuda to progress will be there.

Logie said the World Cup needed to be a starting point. And he said the country could learn lessons from Bangladesh, which set up an academy just over a decade ago and saw its graduates progress to beat India at this tournament. "If you invest in your people there is every possibility that it will bear fruit. We are an impatient people and we want to see fruit come from the seed, but Mother Nature don't work like that. If we are prepared to be patient we will see results. Credit to Bangladesh and their people. Now is the time for them to enjoy it."

Reproduced with permission from the Bermuda Sun