… Chanderpaul in 37-man squad, no place for Christian
SENIOR Chairman of Selectors of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Rayon Griffith last Wednesday afternoon charged the 37-man squad to represent Guyana with pride, when they go out to do so in next year’s West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional four-day and NAGICO Super50 tournaments.
The 34-year-old Griffith, himself a former first class fast bowler, made the charge before announcing the 37-man squad which will go into training as early as next week Saturday and which also includes dependable middle-order batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, but has no sign of Derwin Christian.
Prior to announcing the squad, Griffith in an invited comment with Chronicle Sport said he saw some good performances from a few players in the just concluded GCB/Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company/Hand-in-Hand-sponsored four-day tournament, who merited selection in the training squad despite the weather playing havoc with a few games.
“The weather, which we have no control over, played a great part in hampering the tournament and the games were not played in the best of conditions at times especially wicket-wise and to judge the players in such conditions was difficult.
“Despite such, with the weather also hampering programmes that were being run by the Georgetown Cricket Association and other associations around Guyana, we did manage to see some creditable performances from a few players, whom I will not mention at this time, but will safely say merited selection in the training squad,” explained Griffith.
He said the provisional squad of 37 players was selected as the GCB saw it fit to have both the Regional four-day and NAGICO Super50 units commence training as early as possible, unlike previous years when preparations got started late.
“I think we need to give the guys some early and adequate preparation, since this area has always been a humbug with the teams leaving these shores to go abroad and compete.
“However, while we will be giving them some early preparation with lots of cricket exercises, matches and game simulations planned, I wish to remind the players that when they go out there, they are competing for Guyana, carrying the Golden Arrowhead on their chest.”
He added, “For far too long we have had players who were giving us a show during the encampment period and when they get out there, their attitude and performances are beyond mediocre stage and more likely like ‘I don’t care’ stage and I wish to stamp that out now. As the saying goes, ‘better late than never’.”
Quizzed on his thoughts about the just concluded tournament which Berbice won to regain the title they lost to Demerara three years ago, Griffith said the batsmen especially those in the senior bracket lacked application.
“Yes we know the weather played a part in the tournament, with even the curators being affected, but even if that is so, some of these guys are semi-professionals and they should have applied themselves more, especially the seasoned ones. Who can say it is proper cricket when we have teams being bowled out twice inside two days.
“Not taking anything away from the bowlers, especially Devendra Bishoo who took 25 wickets and Amir Khan who was close to that figure, and those other bowlers who stuck to their task well, I feel the batsmen should have done more than what they gave us,” said Griffith.
He added, “When you look at the first two rounds, we had a total of six days cricket from both matches, with the first day in the Berbice versus President’s XI game being washed out while Demerara defeated Essequibo inside three days.
“For the second round, a combined total of four days and less than three hours of cricket was played, despite the sun being out in all its glory while for the final round the first three days were washed out and even when play was possible on the final day, both sides batting first were bowled out.”
He chided the players to get their act together, especially the senior ones, since no player is a permanent fixture on any team irrespective of his or her status.
Meanwhile, among the 37 players who were invited to the trials are Chanderpaul’s eldest son Tagenarine, along with his West Indies Under-19 teammates in Shimron Hetmyer and Gudakesh Motie-Kanhai, Royan Fredericks, Robin Bacchus, Collis Butts, Raun Johnson and Ryan Ramdass.
No place was found for Christian, who earlier this year was replaced by Anthony Bramble in the Guyana team for the final two matches in the Regional four-day and then Super50 tournaments, with Bramble having to compete with Jason Sinclair for the wicket-keeping spot.
The 37 players who were called are: Leon Johnson, Devendra Bishoo, Veerasammy Permaul, Anthony Bramble, Robin Bacchus, Assad Fudadin, Zaheer Mohamed, Royston Crandon, Christopher Barnwell, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Vishal Singh, Ronsford Beaton, Rajiv Ivan, Amir Khan and Ramnaresh Sarwan.
Chanderpaul Hemraj, Shaquille Williams, Jonathan Foo, Narsingh Deonarine, Steven Jacobs, Keon Joseph, Raun Johnson, Jason Sinclair, Paul Wintz, Anthony Adams, Rajendra Chandrika, Gudakesh Motie Kanhai, Shimron Hetmyer, Andre Stoll, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Ryan Ramdass, Trevon Griffith, Chris Pattadin, Royan Fredericks, Totaram Bishun and Collis Butts.
(By Calvin Roberts)