Greg Taylor, skipper of Bahamas national team, is optimistic of a good performance in the Pepsi ICC Americas World Cricket League Division 1 event in Bermuda later this month after winning the Division 2 title in February to progress to this tournament.
Taylor said: "After successfully winning Division 2, our goal for this event is not to come last and return to the same division. We intend to stay in Division 1 and in order to do that we have to beat a couple of Associate teams."
"The team has been practicing hard since October 2009. We have training schedules four times a week in order to perform well against the Associates and cause an upset. Our strength lies in both batting and bowling, but as far as weaknesses go, this is for the other teams to find out."
The skipper highlighted Bahamas? performance in Division 2 as its best: "Our most memorable performance was against Suriname in the final game in Nassau. The opposition had us reeling on our back foot for 19 runs for four wickets. It seemed as though we were playing in Suriname in 2008 all over again where we lost in the final game by 146 runs. This match is known by the whole cricketing world as a miracle. It was absolutely fantastic to see Ryan Tappin and Jonathan Barry from the Bahamas dig in at the wicket and take us to 186 runs in a reduced match. Even though we lost the match, we won the tournament by a good run-rate.
"The other memorable match was again in Division 2 this year, when young Marc Taylor destroyed the Turks & Caicos bowling attack scoring 141 runs, including huge sixes and powerful shots to the boundary for fours," he added.
According to him, cricket is heading uphill again in the country after a few years of decline. He said: "We have Kwik cricket programs in about 34 primary schools in the country. Success in tournaments like these causes citizens to become aware of what is happening in cricket and enquire how to get involved with the game."
"Bahamas Cricket Association intends to develop a vibrant cricket program to be competitive in all aspects of the game, be it U15s, U19s, women's cricket and to have a competitive youth league. There are certain things we have to do in order to apply for Associate status, but that is in the future. We are of the view that with the various pathways that the ICC has provided, we can play our way into World Cup cricket if we are good enough. We want to become like Afghanistan, highly competitive as an Affiliate. We also want to have a women's league as required by the ICC," he concluded.
The full squad is as follows: Gregory Taylor (captain), Marc Taylor, Jonathan Barry, Whitcliff Atkinson, Jermaine Adderley, Mario Ford, Dereck Gittens Jr, Hamilton Gilliard, Albert Peters, Ryan Tappin, Rohan Parkes, Dwight Weakley, Gregory Irvin, Narendra Ekanayake.
For more information on the event, click here.