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Bedessee NY Destroyers gear up for another victorious campaign!

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Radiant Info T20 Cricket 2010: Bedessee NY Destroyers gear up for another victorious campaign! 

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Bedessee NY  Destroyers, the 2009 Radiant Info T20 champions, are strongly favored to make the finals this year as well.   Their seeding is not just because of their strong line-up!  This outfit is a reminder that regardless of individual talent, cricket is really a team sport.

Last year, the team ratcheted up the intensity with each match.   Their support structure was top-notch ensuring that the team worked like a well-oiled machine.  Their manager even delivered home-cooked food at the hotel after the matches last year.  If those are not reasons enough, here are more reasons why this team is the one to beat.

Firstly, Barrington Bartley (pictured right) is a captain's captain - someone that truly leads from the front.  Last year, he topped the tournament Impact Index with 6.1 impact rating.  The Impact Index is a DreamCricket.com innovation that provides context to the cricketing performance - the state of the match and the series, the strength of the opposition and pitch conditions.  

Secondly, there is just one word to describe the Destroyers fielding - magical!  And in that context, there is a person who must be named - Akeem Dodson.  Take a bow!

And thirdly, there's the team:

Barrington Bartley (29) - Barrington has pedigree.  As a youngster, the middle-order batsman played alongside Chris Gayle as part of the Jamaica U19 squad, and beginning 2005, he has been in and out of the USA senior team.    In 2009, he was one of eight NY cricketers who were on the list of probables for 2010.  A part-time left slow orthodox bowler, Barrington took an incredible 3 wickets for 6 runs in 3 overs in last year's Radiant Info T20, which sealed the fate of his opponents.

Rashard "Rocky" Marshall (27) - Explosive is the one word that describes this USA batsman best.  Jamaican born Rocky first raised eyebrows in 2006 when he scored an undefeated 90 to bring the United States very close to defeating West Indies XI captained by Brian Lara.  The team eventually fell short by 6 runs.   His 90 runs came off just 56 balls and included seven fours and two sixes.  One Wavell Hinds' over went for 16 runs!   

Since that eventful match, Rocky (picture at right) has continued to torment bowlers in the various ICC Trophies.   

Fijians still have nightmares of his innings of 61 from 28 balls that included 8 fours and 4 sixes!   This month, Rocky celebrated a personal milestone - a maiden century in an ICC championship - that too in a crucial match against Argentina.  His 122 came of 84 deliveries and featured 11 fours and 6 sixes and sent Argentina packing to Division V.

Akeem Dodson (22) - Akeem Dodson is one of a rare species - he is US-born.  Akeem is also one of the few members of the 2006 ICC U-19 World Cup team that made a transition to the senior team when he was chosen to play as part of the USA team in the WICB Cup in November of 2008.  Akeem scored 31 not out against Trinidad and Tobago and featured in three important partnerships in that match.  Of course, it was a brief cameo.  Mysteriously, he was left out of the probables list for 2010 but in domestic competition, Akeem has continued to shine as a batsman and as a fielder.  In last year's Radiant Info T20, Akeem played a key role in NY's progress to semis hitting 45 from 56 balls.  He was also the tournament's best fielder and wicketkeeper.

Azurdeen "Andy" Mohammed (19) - To the casual observer, Trindiad born Andy Mohammed gives off the appearance that life is easy.   In Peter Della Penna's words, "For Mohammed, overcoming hardship is old hat."  An injury at the Pearls Cup cost him his spot on the team that went to the ICC Americas tournament and forced him to take a short break from cricket. 

But by June 15, in only his second competitive game since returning from the injury, Mohammed notched an unbeaten 109 in the NYPD Cricket Twenty20 Cup.  

Andy was selected for the USA U-19 squad last year after two half-centuries and 157 runs in three innings for North East at the domestic U-19 tournament.  In his first match for USA U-19, Andy scored 60 opening the match before taking 3 for 15 bowling left-arm orthodox spin.  At the Global Qualifier, he grinded out 90 runs from the top of the order in his team’s loss to Afghanistan.  And in New Zealand, at the U-19 World Cup came his most impressive performance scoring 70 runs in a defeat to Australia, but giving USA some respectability after it was reduced to 28 for 7!

Andrew "Kristoff" Gonsalves (32) - Former West Indies B and Guyana opening batsman Andrew Gonsalves is no stranger to fans of New York cricket.   Playing for Global Challengers, he was the best batsman at last year's Radiant Info T20 with 174 runs in his 4 innings including a highest of 87 in the semi-finals with 5 fours and 3 sixes.   This year, he is part of the NY Destroyers and hopes to repeat the magic.

The other players on the New York Destroyers include USA cricketer Kevin Darlington and U-19 cricketer Kavishwar Bridgepaul.   The full team will be announced along with all the rosters next week.

[Bio of Andy Mohammed courtesy of Peter Della Penna.   Pictures courtesy of USACA/ICC/NYCricket.com]