“THE MOST Important thing for us is the players knowing their roles and executing that effectively, in which way we can guarantee success for our country in the Regional Supere50 tournament.”
Those were the words of national cricket coach Esaun Crandon, who spoke with Chronicle Sport via telephone yesterday morning, after their third practice game against the Rest XI at the Georgetown Cricket Club ground was called off, due to a soggy outfield.
The coach was referring to the Christopher Barnwell-led 14-man squad, encamped from December 28, 2013 for this month end’s tournament to be held in Trinidad and Tobago and which will see Guyana compete against Ireland, Jamaica and Windward Islands in that order out of Zone A.
Quizzed on his feelings, following the non-playing of the game yesterday morning, Crandon, who is a former national all-rounder, said “Practice in the middle is always important and essential, as it gives you a chance to further assess your players.
“It also helps the players to work on their concentration and any flaws they may have in their game. But having said that, I must say we have no control over the weather so we will be looking at having indoor sessions at LBI and even use the concrete pitch at the Gandhi Youth Organisation ground.”
He added, “More fitness work can also be done at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall under the guidance of the two trainers from the Guyana Defence Force and the coaching staff involving Julian Moore, chairman of selectors Rayon Griffith and myself.”
When quizzed on the camaraderie in the team at the moment, despite concerns of burnout from their heavy cardiovascular training, the 32-year-old Crandon said the players are all gelling well.
“It is nice to see how they interact with each other. It’s as if the 14-man squad has not been named and everyone is contending for a place. They are gelling well and cheering each other on during the drills and that brings a smile to our faces as coaches of this unit.
“They are a joy to work with and I must commend the Guyana Cricket Board, for bringing them together early, as we have seen also, increase in their fitness level and also they are having lots of fun executing the drills assigned,” said Crandon.
Asked to express his thoughts as it relates to the composition of the 14-man squad, he said, “Any team with Shiv Chanderpaul in it is a bonus. He has vast experiences that he has been sharing with the guys in the camp, and the younger players are definitely soaking up his wisdom.
There is also Ramnaresh Sarwan who has been showing signs of his old self in terms of his batsmanship, especially in the nets, where he is always hungry to go the extra mile, bringing a smile to the face of the guys as well.”
He added, “All in all, I think the squad is a good one mixed with youth and experience, as we have guys who have represented the West Indies at various levels and some young ones who are knocking on the door seeking West Indies selection.
In the bowling we have two experienced spinners in Veerasammy Permaul and Devendra Bishoo, while our two fast bowlers selected, Ronsford Beaton and Paul Wintz, have been hitting the right areas in the nets and two practice matches to date, so yes, I am satisfied with the composition of the team.”
He was not fazed by the fact that Guyana have not won a Regional limited overs title in this form of the game since 2005, when Chanderpaul led the team to victory in the inaugural WICB KFC Cup, following Sewnarine Chattergoon’s ton against Barbados at GCC.
“It is something we have discussed during our meetings, but for me to put such pressure on the guys and remind them of this before the tournament start is uncalled for. As I said before, it is important that the guys know their role and execute it to the best of their ability and once that is done, success will be ours at the Queen’s Park Oval when the tournament culminates on February 15,” reiterated Crandon.
The Guyanese will be involved in two more practice matches, this time under the lights of the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, sometime next week, before breaking camp and departing for Trinidad and Tobago on January 28. They go into action against the Irish three days later.
(By Calvin Roberts)