Monday 17 November 2008 

Italy Take Third Place As Scuderi Retires

A brilliant spell of spin bowling from player of the tournament Mohammad Nabi helped Afghanistan clinch the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 4 by 57 runs over Hong Kong and saw both finalists secure promotion to WCL Division 3 and on the path to the 2011 World Cup.

In the third/fourth play-off, Italy defeated Tanzania by 70 runs at University, while Fiji secured fifth place in the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 5 with a 27-run win over Jersey.

Italy and Tanzania will now remain in the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 4 for 2010 while Jersey and Fiji are relegated to Division 5.

Despite Jersey’s 6th place they took heart from some good performances, including 16 year old Ben Stevens who starred in their win over Fiji with figures of 4-46.

Captain Mat Hague believes that Jersey cricket has a bright future and paid tribute to his young spinner. “He did well and came on at a difficult time and got a couple of wickets early on and ended up with four in the end,” said Hague. “At sixteen years of age it is a fantastic achievement and he’s got a bright future”. With the emergence of the likes of Stevens, Hague is hopeful Jersey can remain competitive at this level of cricket and go from strength to strength. “This was a chance to go up to the next division, but there are a lot of ICC tournaments coming up and there are lots of tournaments for the youngsters like Ben Stevens, Anthony Kay and Sam Dewhurst – they are all promising young players,” he added.

Meanwhile, Joe Scuderi has announced his retirement from international cricket after Italy’s defeat to Afghanistan at the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 4. The loss ended Italy’s hope of promotion.

However, he will stay on as Italy’s coach as it looks to make up for the disappointment of failing to gain promotion to Division 3 in Argentina in January.

“I am retired as a player now. I was going to keep playing for as long as our campaign went for the next World Cup but its obviously ended now,” said Scuderi. “You can’t keep playing for ever – I’m 40 in December and my time has come now and perhaps it is time for Italian cricket not to rely on me as much as it has done for the last 10 years. I’ve been lucky to play first-class cricket. I’ve played for South Australia and Lancashire and seen the world, played with Italy and travelled to parts of the world that you would never have imagined I would have gone to were it not for cricket.”

Scuderi also admitted that he was bitterly disappointed by the manner of the defeat to Afghanistan, as Italy were looking strong at 62-1 chasing 235 to win.

“I am gutted. We blew it. 234 was a reasonable score by them but it was very gettable. The wicket is pretty good and the outfield is obviously quick. We were going alright but we pushed the panic button,” said Scuderi. “I explained to the guys that can you probably have one run out but if you have four it means you panicked and the pressure of the situation got to us. Unfortunately it’s happened to us before as well.”

© European Cricket Council