Hapless Cann injured again
All-rounder Lionel Cann was back on crutches yesterday just a day after rejoining his national team-mates at the High Performance Camp (HPC) here in Pretoria.
The St. George’s Cup Match skipper was struck on the leg by a Stefan Kelly delivery during morning net practice and appeared in considerable pain as he hobbled off to receive treatment.
If there was any consolation for Cann, who missed the Kenyan leg of this five-week African tour as he continued his recovery from groin surgery a couple of months ago and also ironed out problems with Bermuda Cricket Board over an employer compensation claim, it was that the medical sports facility at the camp is considered the best of its kind in South Africa.
However, as he returned to the team’s accommodation block with the support of crutches and his leg heavily bandaged, the extent of the injury wasn’t clear.
But having missed the squad’s last four games, he’ll be desperate to get fit in time for next Tuesday’s start of the four-day Intercontinental Cup match against Holland, which will be played at the HPC grounds on the outskirts of Pretoria.
Janeiro Tucker, who became the first Bermuda player to score a half-century on tour last Sunday, was also nursing a leg injury yesterday and didn’t play a full part in training, but is expected to be ready for Tuesday’s game. While meaningless in terms of Bermuda no longer being able to qualify for next year’s Intercontinental Cup final, the game remains important as Gus Logie’s men seek to restore confidence in the wake of three losses against Kenya.
Overcast skies and frequent showers yesterday provided some relief for the players following the blazing heat of Mombasa and Nairobi earlier in the week, and after an early morning work-out in the gym, they enjoyed a lengthy session in the same nets frequently used by South Africa’s national team.
The Dutch, who Bermuda will meet in two one-day internationals later this month, were also scheduled to move into the camp last night and will train alongside Bermuda over the weekend.
Canada’s national team, facing two matches against both Bermuda and Holland, are expected to arrive early next week.
The camp, a home-away-from-home for nearly all of South Africa’s elite athletes and a winter training base for many European sports stars, is set in the extensive grounds of Pretoria University.
Bermuda team manager Lionel Tannock said both he and all of the players had been hugely impressed since moving in on Wednesday evening.
“It’s just a first-class facility, it has everything you could wish for,” said Tannock. “The accommodation, the food, the grounds are all excellent.”
Opened just over four years ago, the camp boasts a sports science and medical unit, where Cann was treated, a bio-mechanical and video analysis lab, a state-of-the-art gymnasium and facilities for a wide range of sports including cricket, rugby, soccer, hockey, tennis, swimming, athletics, netball and golf.
“We look at it as a sports hotel,” said director of guest relations Lulama Masikazana. “All of our top sports people come here before big events such as the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, World Cups . . . and we have a big market in Europe where the winters can be so harsh. A lot of Europeans train here in the winter.
“We think it’s unique, quite different from the Australian sports academy. Our biggest selling point is that once teams come here, they don’t need to travel. Everything they could possibly want is here. I’m not sure any other academy can say that.”
South Africa’s cricket team were resident at the camp prior to the recent Champions Trophy in India, while earlier in the year national teams from several countries moved in for their final preparation for the Commonwealth Games. “What we ask of teams before they come in is to outline a programme that will suit their needs and then we ensure that everything from the facilities to the coaching is available when they arrive,” said Masikazana.