Bermuda engagement in Uganda postponed
Less than 24 hours after Cup Match was cancelled for the first time in its 118-year history because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bermuda’s leading cricketers were handed another blow with the postponed of an overseas tournament.
The International Cricket Council, the world governing body, ruled yesterday that time had run out for Cricket World Cup League 2 scheduled for July 4 to 11 in Scotland and CWC Challenge League B in Uganda from August 3 to 13 to go ahead as planned.
Bermuda were meant to play in the Uganda event, having successfully petitioned the ICC to delay the original start date of the six-country tournament by a week so that players involved in Cup Match could be part of the national team’s plans.
An ICC statement said: “As part of the ICC’s comprehensive contingency planning process across all ICC events, and after consultation with members and with the relevant government and public health authorities, the decision has been taken to postpone both series.”
Lloyd Smith, the president of the Bermuda Cricket Board, said: “We kind of anticipated this because they [the ICC] had been dragging their feet on an announcement.
“Because of the lack of travel that will be available, it wasn’t a surprise.”
The first round of the series was held in Oman last December, when Bermuda struggled to a record of no wins, four losses and a no result, having gone winless in the United Arab Emirates a few months earlier at the T20 World Cup Qualifier.
The other teams in CWC League B, which is played over the 50-overs format, are Uganda, Hong Kong, Italy, Jersey and Kenya. The countries are due to play 15 matches over three years, with only the winner moving on to the next stage of qualifying for the 2023 World Cup, which will be held in India.
Chris Tetley, the ICC Head of Events, said: “We will now work with hosts and members to find a window where they can be safely and practically rescheduled. The ICC’s priority continues to be to protect the wellbeing of players, coaches, officials, fans and the whole cricket community.”
Meanwhile, the future of the ICC T20 World Cup Regional Final, scheduled for August 18 to 24 in Canada, remains uncertain. Bermuda are meant to be competing with the host nation, United States, Cayman Islands, Panama, Belize, Bahamas and Argentina.
The setbacks on the international horizon come just as there are signs that the domestic season will finally get under way — likely with league cricket restricted to the abbreviated 20-overs format.
Clubs were given the go-ahead four weeks ago to resume training with public-health guidelines observed and with a view to gaining approval for the season to start on the condition that physical-distancing be enforced at matches and attendances restricted.
Following up on the hint by David Burt, the Premier, last night at the Covid-19 press conference that this approval had been given, Mr Smith said: “We have put a schedule together to hopefully start on July 4 and 5, but the clubs have to be available with their fields.”
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