Manders On Americas Qualifier & T20 World Cup

January 24, 2023 | 0 Comments

Tre Manders Bermuda November 2021 thumb

[Written by Stephen Wright]

Tre Manders believes Bermuda may never get a better chance of reaching the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup as they build towards the Americas Sub-Regional Qualifier in Argentina next month.

The batter is confident Bermuda will seize their opportunity and has backed them to win their games against the Bahamas, Belize, Cayman Islands, Panama and Argentina to top the table.

He said there has been a culture shift within the national team programme, praising the Bermuda Cricket Board [BCB] for giving the squad the best possible chance of success in Argentina, including three warm-up matches in Florida before they head to South America.

“I feel like something big is going to happen,” Manders told Bernews. “There’s a lot of positive energy around the team, and this is a huge opportunity.

“Ability-wise, we’re the best team in the Americas region. All the teams are improving, so we need to step up and show everyone we mean business. We want to be the team to beat.

“Argentina, our biggest rivals, almost beat us in Antigua [at the ICC T20 Americas Qualifier in 2021] – we scraped by, so we certainly won’t be underestimating anyone.”

Manders views the tournament, starting on February 25, as the perfect opportunity to build a winning mentality before the Americas Regional Qualifier Finals in Bermuda from September 28 to October 8.

The top three nations from the Americas Sub-Regional Qualifier plus Canada will compete at the Qualifier Finals, with the winner advancing to the World Cup, to be held in the West Indies and the United States in June next year.

“Hosting the Qualifier Finals is huge for us,” the Western Stars batter said. “First and foremost, we must get through the Americas Sub-Regional Qualifier and then embrace the pressure of playing in front of our supporters.

“To qualify for the World Cup on home turf would be unbelievable. I don’t think we will ever get a better chance than this.”

Several changes by the BCB have helped prepare the team on and off the field, bringing in experienced Indian Niraj Odedra as head coach and appointing Sussex all-rounder Delray Rawlins as captain.

The squad should also be physically and mentally ready thanks to fitness sessions with Kenny Thompson, a former Bermuda football team coach, and the expertise of David Scott, professor of sports psychology at the University of New Brunswick, who has been working on improving the players’ mindset.

“Niraj a top-notch coach,” Manders said. “We know what he’s capable of, and things are coming together pretty well.

“Herbie [Bascome] did a great job setting the foundations, and Niraj has come along and brought something different to the table. He coached at the Cup Match sessions and introduced us to drills we had never done before.

“Now is the right time for Delray to take the captaincy. He’s at the right age [25]. He should be able to take the weight of captaincy without it affecting his form. We all have absolute confidence in him.

“We should definitely be fit enough to compete, and we’ve been doing great work with Kenny Thompson at Beast Gym. We’ve also been doing psychology sessions. They’ve really helped us think about the game differently. Hopefully, it will contribute to us qualifying for the World Cup.”

The 27-year-old has fond memories of watching Bermuda play at their first and only World Cup, the ODI championship, in the West Indies in 2007 and hopes the current crop can create history by becoming the first Bermuda side to qualify for the T20 tournament.

“Everyone remembers Malachi Jones’s wicket following that catch by Dwayne Leverock [now head of the national team selection committee],” Manders said. “Whenever the team goes overseas, someone will stop and talk to us about that moment. It went viral!

“I’ve said to the guys, ‘Imagine if we can get to a World Cup and do something special. We could make history too!”

Manders said he has no difficulty adapting his game and switching between cricket’s different formats. Last season he became the first local batter to score three successive centuries [in Western Counties, T20 Premier Division and Eastern Counties competitions] and also gained valuable experience playing for the Florida Scorpions alongside Kamau Leverock in the US Open T20 tournament.

“T20 is the format where Bermuda can have the most success,” he added. “It suits our mentality more than the 50-over game, and we have the power hitting to set big totals.

“I’ve always enjoyed T20, and playing for the Scorpions last season was a great experience. I’d encourage our younger guys to try and get into franchise cricket. It would make Bermuda cricket one hundred per cent better.”

Bermuda’s squad

Delray Rawlins [captain, Sussex CCC], Kamau Leverock [Handsworth CC], Tre Manders [Western Stars SC], Terryn Fray [Bailey's Bay CC], Allan Douglas Jr [St George’s CC], Dominic Sabir [Somerset CC], Jacob Albertze [Somerset CC], Matthew Watson [Somerset CC], Justin Pitcher [St David’s CCC], Zeko Burgess [St George’s CC], Sinclair Smith [St George’s CC], Jarryd Richardson [Bailey’s Bay CC], Derrick Brangman [St David’s CCC], Charles Trott [Southampton Rangers SC], Malachi Jones [Warwick Workmen’s Club]

Standby:

Jabari Darrell [St George's CC], Stefan Kelly [Newport Cricket Club], Cejay Outerbridge [St David’s CCC], Alje Richardson [Somerset CC]

Management

Niraj Odedra [head coach], Cal Waldron [assistant coach], Courtney Trott [manager]

Fixtures

  • Bermuda v Panama, February 25,
  • Argentina v Bermuda, February 26
  • Bermuda v Cayman Islands, February 28
  • Belize v Bermuda, March 2
  • Bahamas v Bermuda, March 4

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