Bermuda first to arrive for historic CWC 2007
February 21, 2007
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) – Bermuda became the first team to land for Cricket World Cup 2007 when they arrived here late Monday night to finalise their preparation ahead of the start of the historic tournament in the Caribbean next month.
As non-Test-playing members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), Bermuda advanced as the fourth and last team from the ICC Trophy qualifying tournament, and will be taking part in their first Cricket World Cup.
“It is the biggest event of their lives,” proclaimed coach Gus Logie, the former West Indies batsman and coach.
“It’s exciting, much anticipated. A bit of fear as well. I think the fear factor is always there, the unknown. I think the players are looking forward to it. I think the most we can ask of them is to give a hundred percent.”
The Bermudians will be engaged in a tri-series involving Bangladesh and Canada in Antigua starting on February 25 at the Antigua Recreation Ground.
Logie said preparation for the CWC 2007 began when they took part the ICC World League series in Kenya recently.
“Even though the results were not what we expected, individually we saw some improvements. The fitness levels have improved a bit. There is a long way to go but we believe in the next few weeks that we will continue to improve on that,” Logie continued.
He said the focus of the training camp here would be on the continued development of the players’ game.
“We want to see people building partnerships, batting well, staying at the crease, assessing conditions, bowling the right lines and lengths, eliminating the extras – wides and no-balls. If we achieve those things … we will be on the right track,” Logie added.
Bermuda start their World Cup campaign with warm-up matches against Australia, England and Zimbabwe in St Vincent and the Grenadines before heading to Trinidad for group-stage matches against Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh at the Queen’s Park Oval.
Former West Indies pacer Michael Holding, now a respected TV commentator, earlier this week criticised the inclusion of minnows such as Bermuda in an expanded CWC 2007, noting their presence would devalue the competition.
Logie, not responding to Holding’s comments, said the Bermudians had been given a chance to compete in the global showpiece and they had accepted it.
“This is an opportunity for the players to be on the world stage and access where they are,” he said.
“It is going to be tough. There are no two-ways about that. We are not going to tell them that we expect them to go out there and win against the bigger team but we expect them to go out and give their best.
“In cricket, anything can happen. I’ve seen ordinary teams do extraordinary things and I’ve seen extraordinary teams do ordinary things. So I’m hoping that in this case we will do extraordinary things.”
The Bermudians were welcomed by a delegation of cricket officials led by John Maginley, Antigua’s minister with responsibility for CWC 2007.