Straight off the bat / A player’s view
BDA Sun welcomes Lionel Cann to its writing team
Wednesday, January 10, 2007 10:43 AM
Qualifying for the World Cup is something that I will cherish forever and something that the country can take pride in. There are hundreds of countries that will probably never qualify for the World Cup, but Bermuda is in there.
Since squad qualified for the World Cup in 2005, my life has changed. I became an instant celebrity, along with my teammates. Everybody in our whole circle wants to be a part of that success.
Every day people are stopping me and giving me advice on how to strive forward. It just makes me realize how many lives are touched across the nation through the sport of cricket.
Everywhere the team goes, people know us. People want to stop and have a conversation with us.
I have to watch what I eat when I'm out because people will question what I'm eating.
It's crazy, but it's a part of what happens when you become a celebrity. The team does have a responsibility because people are watching what we do every single day.
Some people really care about what the team does and what the squad eats and than there are other people who want to see the team fail, but that's part of life and part of the package of qualifying for the World Cup.
I know that I have to look past their negativity and concentrate on the positives.
When it was announced that cricket got $11 million, people were saying "that's a lot of money."
But when you look at what other countries are doing and how much cricket can bring a country together, $11 million isn't really a whole lot of money compared to what it costs to prepare a team for the World Cup, the world's biggest stage.
And the money isn't just for the World Cup. It's spread out over five years and it's for the future of the game and for our young kids. It's for the good of the game and it's needed for Bermuda cricket to participate on the world stage.
I believe that one of those positives is that cricket have become trailblazers for all of Bermuda sport. By cricket qualifying for the World Cup and getting $11 million, it's opened the door for other sports to get large funding from Government too.
The squad has not only helped move cricket forward in Bermuda, but it's helped advance the cause of all sports in our country. Cricket set the benchmark and now other sports will get opportunities too.
As I train in Trinidad, there is a lot of excitement with World Cup places up for grabs, I can see the extra sacrifice that the players have made.
Things are going quite well for us. From my observation all the team is working very hard on their fitness and it appears the team is on a high with the World Cricket League ahead.
I feel like the team is trying to forget the negatives and focus on the positives.
I am very excited about the addition of the potential of the young players. They're striving forward and working hard to gain experience and improve their game as they are looking forward to 2009 and the next ICC Trophy.
I have noted that the senior core players of the team have a very good relationship with the younger players.
Most of the young players have played senior cricket for a number of years now and have represented Bermuda at various levels.
I can tell that they are bringing much enthusiasm to the team.
All the senior players have been given roles to help along the junior players.
The board has an expectation that all players are to be role models on and off the field.
I know that these younger players are the future of Bermuda cricket and we have a responsibility of passing on our experience and knowledge to them.
Everyone is on the same page - the senior and younger players along with the cricket board, are making sure cricket qualifies for the next World Cup.
I'm proud of what we've done so far and am looking forward to accomplishing even more as the team prepares in Trinidad for the World Cricket League.