Cal Blankendal On Challenge League & More

February 16, 2024 | 0 Comments

[Written by Stephen Wright]

Cal Blankendal, the Bermuda Cricket Board executive director, believes it is vital for the growth of the national team programme to regularly play two international formats as they prepare for the 50-over World Cup Challenge League Play-off in Malaysia.

Bermuda have enjoyed success in T20 in recent years, narrowly missing out on reaching the Men’s T20 World Cup after losing by 39 runs to Canada in the Americas Regional Qualifier at home in October last year.

However, they have struggled in the 50-over format and suffered relegation to the bottom rung of qualifying after finishing winless from 15 matches across a three-year cycle from 2019 to 2022.

They head to Malaysia needing to advance as one of the top three teams from group A, where they will face Italy, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, to reach the Super Six stage, where the top four finishers qualify for the next cycle of the 12-team Challenge League.

Cricket Bermuda Feb 16 2024 (1)

“The T20 qualifiers were an exciting time – we came up a bit short – and now we move into the 50-over format,” Blankendal told Bernews.

“We’re in the play-off to get back into the Challenge League, and unless [Bermuda finish in the top four of the Super Six], we will get relegated until [the next cycle] in 2027.

“By March 3 [the final Super Six match], we hope to be in the proper round. Each group match is important because you carry your points into the Super Six.”

He added: “It’s important to play two formats of cricket [T20 and 50 overs]. Some players prefer one format over the other and it offers more opportunities of international cricket for our island as an Associate Member.”

Cricket Bermuda Feb 16 2024 (2)

Bermuda will be boosted by the arrival of six key players – Delray Rawlins, Allan Douglas Jr, Derrick Brangman, Tre Manders, Chris Douglas and Zeko Burgess – who missed the India trip because of visa issues.

They left the island yesterday [February 15] and are due to arrive in Malaysia tomorrow.

“You always have a few hiccups as you saw with visa issues,” Blankendal said. “They’ve been a big miss in India, but it’s given an opportunity to some of the youngsters, so they know what the standard is.

“They should give the team a big boost. Hopefully, they will provide a positive headache for coach Cal Waldron.”

click here banner cricket 2

Read More About

Category: All, News, Sports

Leave a Reply