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Archive for the ‘bahrain’ Category

With almost two full years to go until the 2011 World Cup, qualification for the 2015 competition is already well underway, with the World Cricket League (sadly, unlike the World Soccer League, not featuring the Timborary Shamrocks) having reached the Division 6 stage in Singapore. Bahrain, Botswana, Malaysia, Guernsey, Norway and Singapore will all be competing for the two places available in Division 5, to be held in Nepal in early 2010.

  • Bahrain have already had to qualify for this stage, winning Division 7 back in May, due in no small part to the wickets taken (and the half-century scored in the final) by Qamar Saeed. As well as Saeed, Adil Hanif (the second-highest run-scorer in Division 7) will be key. Confidence will be high, but Bahrain have never faced most of the other sides in the competition, so it’s hard to say what reasonable expectations would be.
  • Botswana have prepared for the tournament with a training camp in Sri Lanka, and are apparently the fifth-best non-Test team in Africa, but that’s the sum of my knowledge of the game in Botswana, I’m afraid.
  • Guernsey, like Bahrain, qualified from Division 7, having been associate members of the ICC for less than a year at the time. Having enjoyed home advantage back in May, things will be harder this time around, but if Jeremy Frith can find form with the bat, then progression is possible.
  • Malaysia beat Singapore earlier this month in the Stan Nagaiah Trophy, which they will hope proves to be a good omen. The Malaysian side will be hoping that conditions will be in their favour, and that the likes of Thushara Kodikara and Suresh Navarathnam can inspire them to victory.
  • Norway dropped down to this level after finishing 9th in Division 5 last year, and will be hoping to bounce straight back with a strong showing this time around. Most of their players are of subcontinental origin, with the majority of Pakistani descent, but there are few if any names amongst their squad that mean anything to me.
  • Singapore are coached by Trevor Chappell, who hopefully won’t have encouraged the side to start bowling underarm. Home advantage may be crucial, but defeat to Malaysia in the build-up may have knocked the side’s confidence

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Although the 2011 World Cup is still two years away, qualification begins tomorrow for the 2015 competition with Division 7 of the World Cricket League. After Afghanistan’s heroics over the last year, the minnows of Bahrain, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Japan, Nigeria and Suriname (who don’t seem to have a website) will be hoping for some glory of their own:

  • Gibraltar are a bit of a mystery – I haven’t been able to uncover much detail of their team. If anyone out there is an authority on cricket in the 2.25 square miles of Spain that decided in 1967 that it wanted to stay part of Britain as the locals were all fans of The Beatles, please get in touch
  • Guernsey became associate members of the ICC as recently as last July, but the advantage of hosting the tournament may lift home hopes. The only cricketer from Guernsey that I’m aware of is Lee Savident, who used to play for Hampshire. Near neighbours Jersey are a couple of divisions further up, and the prospect of a Channel Islands derby may provide further motivation, if needed.
  • Japan were as high as Divison 5 in the WCL last year, but have some rebuilding to do. Their experience of playing in Jersey last year should prepare them for conditions in Guernsey, and coach Richard Laidler has high hopes that Japan will rise back up the ladder by finishing in the top 2 this time around.
  • Nigeria had some visa problems in the run-up to the competition, which I hope have been sorted out now. Nigeria actually played their first cricket international way back in 1904 against the Gold Coast (now Ghana), but were subsumed into the West African team for much of the last 40 years. I have to admit to a lack of knowledge of the current team, but hopefully that will change over the next few days.

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