Hemp backs skipper Romaine
Colin Thompson, The Royal Gazette
David Hemp has thrown his support behind Bermuda skipper Irving Romaine – but has not ruled out leading his country of birth should the opportunity present itself.
"If the opportunity arose I would naturally be willing to captain the side as would most players," the former Glamorgan skipper told The Royal Gazette. "What higher honour can you get?"
After yet another disappointing year of International cricket for Bermuda's senior national squad Romaine's leadership pedigree has come under fire, with some going as far as to call for his head to roll.
However, Hemp, who toured India and Bangladesh with England A in the mid-1990s, insists the Bailey's Bay stalwart is the still the right man for the job.
"In my opinion Irving is doing a good job. It is not easy to captain any side – let alone your country.
"He is enthusiastic and very committed," he said.
Despite finishing third in the Championship averages this past season, Hemp, who celebrated his 38th birthday earlier this month, was released by Glamorgan who have since appointed England batsman Jamie Dalrymple as their new captain.
Kenyan-born Dalrymple, who has played 27 one day internationals for England, was selected for his adopted country at last year's World Cup in the West Indies.
Hemp, who struck a record 247 not out for Bermuda against the Netherlands in South Africa in 2006, is now set to begin a six-month coaching stint at Solihull School, England, early in the new year.
He has also been included in Bermuda's senior national squad that will bid to defend their Americas Division One Championship title in Florida at the end of the month.
And he is confident Bermuda can retain their crown.
"There will be a lot of expectation as Bermuda are the current holders.
"However I think the players will realise this and certainly be determined to keep hold of the trophy," he said.
Despite a string of losses in the Intercontinental Cup, Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers and one dayers, Hemp is confident he and his Bermuda team-mates can get back to winning ways in Florida.
"Irrespective of the manner in which a team plays, it is important to perform the basics well and on a regular basis," he said.
"If a team can do this, then it will compete and put themselves in winning positions more often than not."
Hemp also believes the Bermuda selectors have assembled a good blend of talent.
"The squad seems to have a good balance between youth and experience," he said.
"There are one or two changes from the last tour that I went on and a couple of players that I have not toured with."
He added: "It is always nice to have experienced players within the squad but irrespective of experience players still need to be focused and committed."
As a senior member of the squad, naturally, much will again be riding on Hemp's bat.
"For me, it is all about the opportunity to play and doing your best when given that chance whatever your role or position is," he said. "I am happy to bat anywhere."