Time to reflect: Lionel Cann, left, with David Hemp and captain Stephen Outerbridge. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Time to reflect: Lionel Cann, left, with David Hemp and captain Stephen Outerbridge. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

We finished fourth in the World Cricket League’s Division 3 tournament and we can take away a lot more positives than negatives from it.

We didn’t want to be in Division 4 because there is less funding, which would cause our development to be a little bit slower. 

We want balanced competition and Division 3 provides that. It provides excellent competition to develop our young players. If we went to Division 2, it might prove to be too tough for them.

Obviously Division 2 would have provided more funding, but we need a bigger pool of players than what we have now because the competition is harder.

It takes three or four years to develop a player at the international cricket level. Even at Division 3 there are tough teams. 

We had an opportunity to develop several youngsters during this tournament.

One of the great moments was watching young Tre Manders coming into his own. He had nice little knock of 64 runs. He will definitely develop into Bermuda’s number three batsman. This tournament will play a role in helping him develop into that.

But it just wasn’t Tre. Look at the bowling spell young Delray Rawlins had at 15-years-old; that was simply remarkable.

Gerg Maybury is another example of a young player getting exposed to international cricket this tournament.

We got to see what he could do and he was able to hold his own against the US. We saw his growth in this tournament. In the opening match he had some nerves but, also, the wicket at the National Sports Centre is different than the one at St David’s. 

At the National Sports Centre the ball swings more and it’s a bit more difficult to control but in his next match at St David’s, he had a slower wicket, which doesn’t swing as much, to bowl on.

It was no walk in the park for him as he played against some quality cricketers and he held his own.

Chris Douglas is still young, too, and he produced. He has done that in the past as well. We know what can do when he’s committed to the cause. 

If we can get the youngsters out to play international cricket, it only bodes well for Bermuda’s future.

Us old guys can’t go on forever. The faster the younger guys can get experience, the faster they can replace the older guys.

Another positive for Bermuda was we got to play at home in front of our fans and they had an opportunity to see us.

The crowds were great and we appreciated their support. It was an excellent turnout. There were a few people who were negative.

They love cricket but really don’t understand the nuances of the game as well as they think they do.

If we have someone who is helping build a partnership and they might be poking around getting one or two runs an over to try and consolidate, that’s part of the strategy.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Twenty20 cricket, but Bermudians get spoiled and they want to see boundaries — lots of fours or sixes. So when they see overs played properly, they think the players are being boring and start shouting out “Hit the ball” or worse. 

That can affect a young player and get into their head. The senior players have learned to tune that out because we’ve played enough cricket. 

Other than that, it was a positive because the fans could now see the level of cricket we’re playing against. You really can’t disparage Nepal as not being a cricket-playing nation after seeing them play. Beforehand people would just hear the word ‘Nepal’ and not take them seriously. Now that they’ve seen them play, they know they have some quality cricketers on their team.

Personally, getting my century was a highlight. There were only two in the entire tournament, which shows the quality of bowling that was happening. 

As I get older, I know I still have to play at a high standard or otherwise people start saying “He’s too old. He can’t perform anymore”. Older players have to set the tone.

My ton came against Italy, which was a huge match for us. If we hadn’t won it, we would have been in Division 4. 

Senior players have to step up and that happened to be my day. n 

For weekend pictures go to page 36.