Cuffy expects top two finish

On paper it looks like a mere
formality, but when the Cayman national team plays in a World Cricket League
Division 4 tournament in Italy next week, it will be far from guaranteed that
they will gain promotion by finishing in the top two places.

Hosts Italy, USA, Nepal, Argentina
and Tanzania are the other competitors in the International Cricket Council
tournament. None has great cricketing cultures, but they all have useful
players, many of whom are ex-pats who just happen to be living in those
territories. The USA especially should be a strong side.

Cayman’s Technical Director of
cricket, Theo Cuffy, hopes to finish either first or second because he has the
confidence in his players, a good blend of experience and promising youngsters.
They’ve made the best of their preparations despite the turbulent recent
weather, which has disrupted practice games.

“The bad weather didn’t help, but
we give thanks to the Almighty for this opportunity,” Cuffy said. “We’re about
90 per cent where we should be with our preparations and now it’s just a case
of fine tuning. We’re going with high expectations.”

Cayman fly out to London on
Saturday, arrive Sunday morning and then get a short flight to France before
reaching Italy on Sunday night. They’ll have two practice matches before taking
on Italy in Medicina on 14 August. Cayman play Argentina the following day and
then the US on 17 August in Bologna. Tanzania are their next opponents, in
Pianoro, and the next day and then it’s back to Medicina to play Nepal on 20
August. The final placings will be determined in three matches in Bologna the
next day.

Cuffy does not expect any easy
matches. “Nepal have just defeated the US in the last tournament. I think the
US should be in the Division 1 but they had some internal problems and were
suspended. We will nevertheless focus on playing our best. I’ve seen some good
cricket amongst our players who know the levels we need to achieve to be
successful.

“We have some senior players and
expect them to lead by example. Around eight of our younger players came
through the system in Cayman in my 14 years here and I’m proud of the fact that
have come through and learned their craft.

“I also give thanks to the
administration and especially coach Andy Myles for all the hard work he has
done over the years to bring the boys along in his quiet, unassuming manner.
All the other coaches deserve thanks too.

“Our captain Saheed Mohamed is a
big match player and his enthusiasm abounds and if it rubs off on the other
players it will have a positive effect.”

SQUAD: Saheed Mohamed (capt), Pearson
Best, Ryan Bovell, Kervin Ebanks, Paul Chin, Marlon Bryan, Ricardo Roach, Jaylon
Linton, Abali Hoilett, Conroy Wright, Alassandro Morris, Kevin Bazil, Ramon
Sealy, Ronald Ebanks.

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