It’s Kampala and Harare Baby!
Dan Birrell and Jiyah Raynor are off an African World Cup White Ball Adventure.
It’s not often that one of your teammates has the chance to fly out to exotic destinations with chances to make the Icc World Cup 2023 in India and the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia. Here at the Nomads, we have two such players who will be proudly representing their respective cricket boards. Dan Birrell (Jersey Cricket) and Jiyah Raynor (Bermuda) fly out of London this weekend!
You can listen to Dan’s thoughts ahead of the trip on twitter and whattsapp. We caught up with him at training on Tuesday evening. Jiyah told me this week ‘I am both optimistic and excited to go to Uganda and gain my first bit of international experience. Tomorrow when I fly out it will be exactly a year since I was involved in a near fatal accident where I fracture many bones, so I am proud of my recovery first and foremost. Lastly, I want to thank everyone at Nomads for welcoming and helping me reach this point. Nomads is my home!’
In terms of qualification for the 2023 World Cup in India (50 Over) both Jersey and Bermuda find themselves in the Group B section (for team’s world ranked 21 to 32). After the first round of qualifiers in Oman (Dec 2019), where Dan made his debut, Jersey have a record of won 2 and lost 3. Bermuda prop the table with four losses and a rain out so far. Ominously, Uganda top the group with five wins from five and now go on to host this event.
Kampala (2 hours ahead of London) is situated on the shores of huge Lake Victoria with the Equator piercing just a few miles south of the City Centre. With a population of 1.8 million the lads are sure to have an exciting experience during the event. That’s if they can acclimatise themselves to the heavy and humid conditions that will prevail throughout. Rain and thunderstorms are common at all times with constant day time temperature of 26oc which apparently feels like 32! Its going to be a bit different to what we have here in Sussex at the moment ( a cool breeze!!!!). Let’s hope the rain stays away for the entire tournament so that all matches can be played without hinder.
Uganda host Jersey in the opening match on 17th June at the Lugogo Stadium. Jersey then go on to meet Kenya, Italy and Hong Kong. In the final match our pair, if selected, could be locked together as Jersey take on Bermuda at the Kampala Oval on 26th June.
In late August the whole vibe moves on to the third and final event when Jersey will be proud hosts. It will be important for them and Bermuda to not let Uganda get to far ahead as only one team can advance to the next stage for India 2023.
Jiyah will come off International Duty and fly home however Birrell’s adventure moves on and transforms into T20 Action. In an attempt to qualify for the 2022 T20 World Cup (Australia) Jersey feature in a group of Singapore, Usa and Zimbabwe. For a warmup to the competition Jersey will be looked after by Namibia in Windhoek where they play a couple of friendlies. Lucky boy as it’s a country I have always wanted to visit! The team will be breathing a sigh of relief as those steaming temps will be replaced with pleasant 22 degrees and sunshine. Dan you will need to pack a warm jacket as it gets very chilly at night. Its winter down there!
The tour then moves on to Harare in Zimbabwe for the T20 Global Qualification for Australia 2022. Eight teams will battle it out. Jersey open against USA on 11th July then have it all to do against the hosts on 12th and finish with Singapore on the 14th. The top two will then fight out two semi finals against the top two from the other group on the 15th. The two finalists will qualify for Australia.
I am sure that all Nomad connections would like to send messages of good luck and best wishes to both lads as they prepare for a trip of a lifetime. There are many adventures to come and exciting new cultures, climates, and environments to explore. And who knows, if both teams keep winning, where it will take them. A personal note to the boys ‘Dan Jiyah, please make sure to make the most of every second your away, it’s a stunning itinerary which should live in the memory for ever. But please make sure to stick within the ‘protocols’ of each squad. Stay safe and ‘keep to the path’ we want you back here in Fulking fit and well’
Go well fellas we shall be keeping tabs on your progress.