Veteran in bid to rejoin national team
Former national cricket team skipper Charlie Marshall wants to be reinstated to the national cricket programme – and is willing to settle his differences with Bermuda Cricket Board. Marshall, who topped the Premier Division in run scoring last season, met with national cricket coach Gus Logie and informed the former West Indies vice-captain of his willingness to rejoin the national programme.
The veteran player has submitted written correspondence to BCB executives and the Board’s selection committee headed by his former St George’s Cup Match team-mate Arnold Manders.
In June, 2005, the top cricketer was sensationally axed from the national team following a row with skipper Clay Smith during a practice session at the National Sports Centre. According to Logie’s official report on the incident, Marshall became “disgruntled” when skipper Smith queried the veteran’s attendance record in training.
However, 16 months after that incident Marshall says he is willing to be made accountable for his actions and wants to meet with Board executives over the possibility of being re-instated. A copy of the letter Marshall submitted to the Board, read:
“Dear Sir, As someone who has held cricket close to my heart, I continue to be interested in taking part in the national cricket programme.
“Having been the highest run scorer for the past season is testament to my ability. During my time of being removed from the national programme, I have reflected upon what has taken place.
“Although the opportunity to contest my own case did not arrive, I am ready to move forward and consider what I can do for the Bermuda team now.
“Considering my age I still believe I may be a great asset to the present team. They may benefit from someone of my experience who has led batting during Cup Match, County Cups and also in the past at the national level.”
On the international front, Marshall captained Bermuda to the 1979 International Youth Tournament (IYT) championship in Toronto where he is still highly regarded by cricket followers. Marshall also captained Bermuda’s senior national team to their first victory in the former Red Stripe Bowl competition over Cayman Islands in Antigua after succeeding Albert Steede as skipper in the late 1990s.
Marshall is the highest run-getter in Cup Match history with 1,252 runs, one of six batsmen to have scored two centuries in the classic and also the first colt to score a century.
He is also on a list of batsmen having scored over 1,000 runs in the Eastern Counties, shares the fifth-wicket batting partnership record (168 runs) in Cup Match with OJ Pitcher and has taken the third most catches in the 104 year-old classic.
Once described by world renowned cricket commentator Tony Cozier “as one of the best cover point fielders”, Marshall has won every domestic honour there is to win during an illustrious yet chequered career.
His letter continued:
“Everywhere I go people constantly approach me about being a part of the new squad. While situations have led to my demise I am willing to work past this and be a generous part of the Bermuda national team.
“I anticipate a positive response and look forward to meeting with the executives and the selection committee.”
Copies of this written correspondence were forwarded to BCB selection committee chairman Manders, the Board’s executive and also national coach Logie.
“I met with Logie and we had a very healthy conversation,” Marshall told The Royal Gazette yesterday.
“I have been following the team’s results and feel they are lacking in the middle order,” the 45-year-old veteran said. “My age and statistics speak for themselves.”
Marshall did not compete in two-day cricket last season, but made his presence felt in Cup Match, the Eastern Counties and also in the domestic limited overs league by scoring two centuries and the most runs (501) at an average of 55.67 per innings.
And like legendary West Indies skipper Clive Lloyd who played Test and One Day International cricket well into his 40s, Marshall is adamant he too can produce the goods at the international level at a seasoned age.
“I’ve always performed overseas with the national programme because to me that has always been a challenge. Sometimes things do get easy here because our bowlers really don’t concentrate as they did years ago,” Marshall continued.
“I know I can raise my game to meet international standards because it’s just a matter of doing the basic things. It’s all about making adjustments to the situations.
“I keep myself in good physical shape and up till this day I continue to train because I love to work out. I’m not in the kitchen all hours of the night and that’s what helps me to compete and go on. My body doesn’t ache because I’m resting and putting the correct foods into it.”