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Sunday, July 05, 2020
Is it Time for Cricket West Indies to Bring Back ICC Americas

Bermuda may not be a part of the Caribbean but as one of the 17 nations in ICC Americas, Karthikeya Manchala argues that maybe Cricket West Indies could be doing more for cricketers in the region.

In 2016, Cricket West Indies announced its intention to grow the game in the American Region. The West Indies are the only Full member team out of 17 nations in the ICC Americas category.

In the 2016 Regional Super 50 competition, for the first time, the West Indies introduced an ICC Americas team which was supposed to be an amalgamation of players from the United States, Canada and Bermuda.

In the 2017 edition, Kamau Leverock, an impetuous allrounder got his chance in the side on the back of an excellent showing in a Division 3 competition in Los Angeles. Leverock, like most other players in that squad, was there for one reason alone. The idea was to hack one of the six coveted spots for ICC Americas players in the Caribbean Premier League draft.

In that tournament, Leverock was the leading run-scorer for the ICC Americas and the only player to have retained the opening spot in all the games. In addition he was the only player, alongside Nitish Kumar, to make two 50+ scores in the competition including a swashbuckling 75 against eventual runners up Jamaica. And yet, despite his impressive performance, Leverock had no takers in the CPL draft that year.

In the 2018 edition, the ICC Americas team was disbanded and replaced by a USA team. Some say this was an attempt by CWI to penetrate the US market in an attempt to create a multi-million dollar platform to boost their revenues.

There was further evidence of this in the Global T20 tournament in Canada in 2018. The West Indies sent a B-team, however for Leverock, despite impressing Chris Gayle and Andre Russell at Vancouver Knights he couldn’t level up.

When the system is not made for them, it is incredibly difficult to convince players from Bermuda to take up cricket professionally when they have to juggle day to day life at the same time.

Leverock has had the opportunity to play in different parts of the world during off seasons, but there are still a host of obstacles.

To watch clips of Leverock’s batting in the 2019 T20 World Cup Qualifiers one can only wonder how the region has failed thus far to harness his ability.

Leverock has tried his hand at breaking through the English county system as players from Bermuda automatically qualify for England. However, he feels the inherent racism and discrimination in the county system in England has been a stumbling block.

Recalling instances from a few seasons back, Leverock is under no illusions that he had to face insurmountable blocks.

“I remember doing fairly well batting at 5 for Nottinghamshire 2nd XI in the 50-over competition and someone came in and got a chance immediately, pushing me to bat at number 9 and 10”.

Leverock continues, “No one would stand up to such blatant discrimination either; in the dog eat dog world of 2nd XI cricket it is every man for themselves in the quest for being noticed”.

Leverock has considered moving to Barbados because his father hails from the island but feels it is too late to re-establish himself at this juncture.

It isn’t all dark though. When Leverock toured Australia in the 2018-19 season, he was given an opportunity to train with the South Australian Redbacks and Adelaide Strikers. He knew he could only train and not play for them, but he highly appreciated David Moore extending that courtesy knowing he had played some T20s for the West Torrens Cricket Club.

Leverock is pleading with the ICC Americas to build a pathway for talented cricketers like himself hailing from Bermuda and other countries like Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and Suriname.

A good start would be reintegrating the ICC Americas team with a more equal composition of players from different regions.
Saturday, July 04, 2020
Rawlins & Sussex Season to Begin August 1st

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has given its approval for the professional men’s county cricket season to begin on 1 August.

The formats to be played during the delayed men’s county season are due to be agreed by the 18 First-Class Counties in early July, with a new fixture schedule to be published thereafter.

Delray Rawlins’ Sussex’s fast/seam bowler teammates are returning to training as preparations for the delayed 2020 season gather pace.

Following the ECB’s confirmation that the professional men’s county cricket season can begin from August 1st, Stuart Meaker, Aaron Thomason, Will Sheffield, George Garton, and Mitchell Claydon reported for training at The 1st Central County Ground from Wednesday 1 July.

They joined Chris Jordan, Laurie Evans, and Phil Salt, who have been training since the beginning of June following their inclusion in England's 55-man group for the upcoming international schedule.

The majority of the remaining Sussex squad members will return on July 8th, with details on the white-ball contracted players set to be confirmed once the 18 First-Class counties agree on the formats to be played.
Saturday, July 04, 2020
BCB President Explains Rules for Fans at Games

The Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) have released the 2020 Cricket Schedule.

BCB President Lloyd Smith explained to www.islandstats.com the limit on people at the grounds for matches.

The Bermuda Health Department has given the go-ahead for matches with a capacity of 250 persons which include players and officials.

Smith said, “We have been given permission to start the season, but we are asking fans to adhere to the social distancing guidelines when they are at the ground.”

Smith went on to say, “There will be a fee to enter games and we will be turning away people once the quota for the premises is reached.”

A full breakdown of the rules are expected to be released on Monday by the Bermuda Cricket Board.

Click Here to see the Full 2020 Bermuda Cricket Board Schedule

Friday, July 03, 2020
Leverock Returning to Play for Somerset Cricket Club

Kamau Leverock will return to Bermuda in a bid to be ready for the upcoming season in Australia.

Leverock has a contract that will see him play in Australia with the league starting in October.

Leverock who has been nursing a back injury will return and play league cricket for the Somerset Cricket Club, transferring from Flatt’s Victoria.

Leverock is hoping to get some match practice in before the move later this year, he was due to play last year in Australia, but due to the injury, he was unable to take part.

Thursday, July 02, 2020
ICC offer Condolences Following Sir Everton Weekes Passing

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has offered its condolences following the death of former Barbados and West Indies batsman Sir Everton Weekes at the age of 95.

Weekes was the last surviving member of the Three Ws (Sir Frank Worrell, Clyde Walcott). Weekes died on Wednesday.

In a statement, ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney remembered ICC Cricket Hall of Famer Weekes as a top batsman of his era and one whose performances will be long remembered.

“Weekes is a distinguished name in cricket and he was an integral member of one of the best Test sides ever. We all know of the Three Ws that comprised Frank Worrell, Clyde Walcott and Weekes, and the reputation they had during the 1940s and 50s.

“His attacking batting contributed in making the West Indies such an attractive side to watch. To be in that team itself was such a big honor, but there were times when Weekes really stood apart with his distinct style. On behalf of everyone at the ICC, I send our sincere condolences to his family and friends.”

Weekes played 48 Test matches from 1947 to 1958, aggregating 4,455 runs at an average of 58.61. Known to show quick footwork and fluent stroke-play, Weekes slammed 15 centuries, which included a record five in consecutive innings in 1948.

One of those centuries came at home against England and four on a tour of India. He almost got a sixth consecutive century but was unlucky to be run out for 90 at Chennai.

Weekes’s cousin Bam Bam Weekes and son David Murray played international cricket while a few other relatives played first-class cricket.

Weekes officiated as an ICC match referee in three Tests and four One Day Internationals, all in 1994.
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