ICC World T20 Qualifier 2012 March 5, 2012

Di Venuto can make a difference - Bonora

ESPNcricinfo staff

Italy captain Alessandro Bonora believes Michael Di Venuto can transom his amateur Italian side and help them make an impression in the World T20 qualifier, which begins on March 13 in the UAE. The squad will come together for an extended camp in Dubai ahead of their first game against Oman.

Di Venuto, 38, played nine ODIs for Australia and Bonora is looking to his international experience to help guide Italy, the fourth-lowest ranked side in the tournament.

"We are hugely excited about Michael joining up with the team," Bonora said. "The Di Venuto's have had a long standing relationship with Italian cricket, with Michael's brother Peter having played for Italy in the recent past. Just the opportunity to see how a true professional goes about his job will have an immeasurable influence on the guys.

"The squad is very similar to the one we have had over past tournaments. The coaching structure is unchanged too, so the guys know what to expect and what is expected of them. The difficulty, as with many of these tournaments, will be for the guys coming out of the northern hemisphere winter to have their skills and games honed by the time we start."

Di Venuto also brings a wealth of first-class experience. He spent 17 years playing for Tasmania before becoming a British-qualified player for Durham, after a stint as overseas player for Derbyshire. He is one of a number of new faces in the Italian squad that Bonora is excited about.

"Middlesex allrounder Gareth Berg will also be joining us and offers some exciting variation with his right-arm swing bowling and strong batting," Bonora said. "He's featured strongly in the Middlesex T20 team over the last few seasons and will also bring great experience and lessons for us from the county circuit.

"The other exciting addition is the off-spinning allrounder Carl Sandri who has been working towards joining up with Italian cricket for a number of years now and it's great for us that he will be on this tour. Carl has been playing grade cricket in Melbourne for many years and will certainly bolster our ranks tremendously."

A place in the final of the qualifying tournament and a berth at the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka is likely to prove beyond Italy, but Bonora believes his side demonstrates what is great about amateur cricket.

"We have limited resources and spend a limited time together as a squad, but when we get together for these tournaments we play with passion and a strong desire to do well for one another," Bonora said. "We play with discipline and structure and always look to implement the key skills of the game. If you give us a sniff of a win, we love nothing better than a team song to celebrate victory."

Italy have been drawn in group B, with Ireland, Scotland, Uganda, Oman, USA, Kenya and Namibia.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Alan on March 6, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    @ ranga-s: Meety is right, and Italy aren't alone in this tournament in having players who have played for other international teams. Papua New Guinea will have former England wicket-keeper Geraint Jones, and presumably Ireland will have Ed Joyce who has also played for England. I did not realise that Di Venuto's brother had played for Italy as the article mentions so there is clearly a family connection. I am more suprised to read that South Africa-born all-rounder Gareth Berg who has played for Middlesex is also likely to be playing for Italy; he clearly has some kind of Italian connection, but I'm not sure what.

  • Dummy4 on March 6, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    italy is a good team & di vento is a good player but they have to beat team like ireland ,netherland,Afaganistan which is not easy for team like Italy

  • Andrew on March 6, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    @ranga_s - you have to serve a 4 yr qualification period as a general rule. As Di Venuto hasn't played for Oz for about 10 years, he is well & truely able to play as long as there is some form of heritage connection with Italy. The example Chris Drake has given with England also holds true. == == == Good for Michael, I dunno how much influence one player will have. From a certain point of view I would prefer he is the difference between Italy getting hammerred & competing, I wouldn't want Italy to storm thru & qualify on the basis of someone who is in some ways an import, like UAE. == == == Anyways go PNG!!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2012, 20:47 GMT

    It's allowed, as long as the last game you played for a previous nation was over four years ago. He's Australian born so I'd assume has Italian parents. Technically if he didn't play for Italy he could play for England, that won't happen, but an example of how the rules work.

  • Ranga on March 5, 2012, 19:27 GMT

    I thought this was not allowed....I think Michael Di Venuto played for Australia at some level...He's an excellent player so my guess lies he might have played....If so according to new ICC rules he can't represent Italy....Aussie mates can you clarify on this please??

  • No featured comments at the moment.