Argentina national coach Toby Bailey is optimistic of his team’s chances in the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 4 event in Italy next month and believes that his team will need to play as a unit to be successful in the tournament.
Argentina will participate in the six-team event which runs from 14-21 August in Bologna, and will also see Cayman Islands, hosts Italy, Nepal, Tanzania and USA competing for the top two spots which will lead it to Division 3 next year.
As it is currently winter in Argentina, Bailey admits that training has been tough but the team is counting on its recent performances to take them through the event. He said: “Our tour to Bermuda for the ICC Americas WCL Division 1 enabled us to play a high level of cricket against some very competitive sides. We finished fourth in the 50-over competition which is our highest-ranked place in the tournament.”
“We also achieved our highest-ever individual and team totals during this tour. Gary Savage was the leading wicket-taker with 13 wickets, Grant Dugmore was the leading Argentine batsman with 181 runs and we scored 333-5 against the Bahamas.”
“Our success lies in our ability to play as a team. We have fourteen players in the squad and they are all key players. It would be wrong to point out an individual player performance,” he added.
The coach wants to take each game as it comes: “All we are focussing on right now is our first game. If we carry out the processes and execute our plans to the best of our ability, the rest will take care of itself.”
Commenting on his knowledge of other teams, he said: “We have played against the Cayman Islands and the USA in the Americas WCL Division 1 event last month. We have also played against Italy and Tanzania in WCL Div 3 in 2007. Against Nepal, we have never played against them as a team, but we have toured with a few of their players with the MCC last year.”
Bailey hopes to lead his team to international success as seen by Afghanistan and admires the way it has progressed in recent years. He said: “What Afghanistan has done is amazing and I respect its success. I remember playing with Mohammad Nabi and Hamid Hasan when touring the Netherlands with the MCC. They are extremely talented players with an amazing work ethic and showed an enormous respect for the game. I am very pleased and happy for them and it is not surprising that they are playing at the level they are now.”
“Realistically speaking, I think it might be a long time before our team displays such levels of success. The Pepsi ICC WCL Division 4 in Italy is the way forward for us,” he concluded.
Source: ICC webpage