Cayman’s cricketers ready for next challenge

It shapes up to be a tough road ahead but members of the squad representing the Cayman Islands at the ICC World Cricket League Division 5 tournament in South Africa are upbeat about their chances after five weeks of preparation.

The tournament is the first stage of qualification to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 with seven other teams sharing similar ambitions of advancing from the six-day competition. Cayman Islands is pooled in Group A with Italy, Guernsey and Qatar. In Group B will be Jersey, Vanuatu, Ghana and Germany.

The top spots from each group will play in the semi-finals, and the bottom two sides will compete for placings. Two teams from the tournament will qualify for Division 4 to be played in mid-2018 and five teams will be relegated to the regional divisions.

“This is a great opportunity to take part in the tournament, we have worked very hard in preparation and we are excited to test our abilities on the global stage,” said Cayman Islands captain Ramon Sealy, who is on his second tour of duty skippering the senior side. Earlier this year, the team advanced from the Americas region with a series sweep against Argentina.

“We were delighted to have qualified from the Americas regional qualifier and we look forward to doing ourselves and our country proud in South Africa,” Sealy added.

Vice-captain Alessandro Morris told that despite an unfamiliarity of the opponents, the side should do well if they apply what they’ve worked on in training. “We’ve had a really good build-up and we’re really excited as we look forward to this tournament. The guys are pumped,” the specialist spinner said.

“We’re confident that if we execute what we’ve worked on over the past six weeks, we’ll be successful. It’s a very confident group of guys and we’re going there with the aim to win. We’re not leaving here worried too much about the opponents. We have a plan, we’re going to execute and go out there to win,” Morris added.

Middle order batsman Darren Cato is looking for a solid showing in South Africa. “We are prepared. We put in the hard work. I think once we execute, we’ll be fine.”

The 25-year-old has been among the top performers with the bat during the recently concluded local league. He hopes to continue that run while wearing national colours. “I think I’m ready. It’s just for me to carry the same form over, trust my training and just believe in myself,” he said during a training session at Smith Road Oval days before leaving for the tournament.

Spinner Kevin Bazil shows technical director Peter Anderson his technique

After being unavailable for the Argentina tour earlier this year, a familiar face rejoins the squad in the form of left-handed batsman Sacha De Alwis. He is expected to partner with Ricardo Roach at the top of the order.

De Alwis shared his thoughts on his important role in the team. “I should be able to take a few wickets as well but bat the whole innings, be the anchor for the team and I feel if I have a good match, it should be good enough to win it for the team. That’s just the confidence I want to take with me,” he told

Returning home a couple of weeks before the team left after playing in England this summer, De Alwis was impressed with what he saw at training sessions.  “This is probably one of the strongest units that we’ve had, at least regarding team spirit and team chemistry. It’s definitely been one of the strongest units that I’ve been a part of. Everyone is training hard and giving their all, so that’s good to see and for us to go to the next level, we have to do that.”

The team chemistry is something Cato also noted. “The team in gelling well. A lot of the guys have played together for some time. We have some new guys coming in, however, they are friends of everyone here on the team. Some of them play for the same clubs, so I think we are a pretty good unit, tight knight and we back each other 100 percent,” he said.

Cayman Cricket Technical Director Peter Anderson, who will be the team’s head coach on tour, said he was impressed with the work the guys put in as they readied themselves for their newest international challenge.

Anderson added that team selection and having everyone knowing their roles should play to their strength.

“Basically, with our selection we have a really well-balanced team and we can bat right down [the order]. Our batting has been our weakness, so we have stacked the order and everyone knows their role – where they are batting, where they are fielding – even before we get on the plane.”

The full squad is: Ramon Sealy (captain), Alessandro Morris (vice-capt.), Corey Cato, Gregory Smith, Yeron Sacha De Alwis, Conroy Wright, Omar Willis, Ricardo Roach, Jalon Linton, Ryan Bovell, Troy Taylor, Deno McInnis, Darren Cato, and Kevin Bazil.

Ricardo Roach takes a catch during fielding drills.

Former New Zealand coach Andy Moles will lead training sessions with the squad upon arrival. Moles, whose most recent international duty was with Afghanistan, is coaching locally in South Africa and has agreed to help the Caribbean contingent.

Cayman Islands opens against Qatar on 3 September, followed by a match versus Guernsey the next day, and then against Italy on 6 September. The semi-finals will be played on 7 September and the finals on 9 September.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Digicel Cayman rekindling its cricket love affair – Cayman Sports Buzz

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.