Bermuda skipper calls for mindset change for cricket WC qualifier

Hamilton (Bermuda), April 7 (IANS/CMC) New Bermuda skipper Steven Outerbridge has urged his team-mates to change their mindset as they gear up for a challenging eight-day ICC World Cricket League Division 3 World Cup Qualifying Tournament starting here later this month.

The top two teams in the six-nation 50-overs-a-side tournament will advance to next year's Cricket World Cup Qualifier featuring 10 teams in New Zealand, ahead of the 2015 World Cup being jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

Bermuda's opponents on home soil are the United States - fresh from beating Bermuda in four of five recent matches in Florida - Uganda, Italy, Oman and Nepal. The matches will be played at three grounds - the National Sports Centre in Hamilton, Somerset and St David's.

Bermuda, who lost twice to champions US in the ICC Americas Twenty20 Championship in Fort Lauderdale before gaining a consolation victory in the third and final 50-over friendly thanks to a century by former skipper David Hemp, will begin their preparation with three 50-over matches at Somerset against touring Jamaican side Melbourne Cricket Club on April 13, 14 and 16.

Bermuda will also play a warm-up match April 22 against Oman, one of two teams arriving early for the Division 3 tournament.

"Too much of the time we take our club mentality into international cricket and that hampers our ability to perform at our optimum peak that we need to compete against these international teams," Outerbridge, who will captain the team for the first time on home soil, told a news conference held by the Bermuda Cricket Board Saturday.

"The standard in domestic cricket is a few stages below international standard and the things that we do in domestic cricket do get exposed when we move onto the international stage. My challenge to my team is to adjust their minds and change their mindset."

Outerbridge warned his players that the US -- led by Guyana-born Steve Massiah -- will not be the only tough opponents they will face.

"I think all five teams are going to be quite difficult, as you see in world cricket today there are no easy fixtures in international games," said Outerbridge.

"No matter where we play a team, whether the first or last game, it is going to be a challenge for the Bermuda side and we just look forward to the opportunity that has presented itself in this tournament."

Bermuda's squad will be announced mid-month, officials said. The tournament will run from April 28 to May 5.

They made their debut in the 2007 World Cup staged in the Caribbean but failed to qualify in the 2011 tournament in Asia.

--IANS/CMC

bs/dg

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