“OBVIOUSLY, playing for your home team would be a player’s first preference, as home is the place you grew and know to love and it is always a pleasure representing Guyana and also the people of Guyana, but it was something I had to think about, talked over with my family and persons who have an influence in my career, so in short I thought long and hard before arriving at my decision.”Those were the words of Guyana’s off-spinning all-rounder Steven Jacobs, who was recently released by the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), following a request from the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) for the 25-year-old Jacobs to lead the side in the upcoming West Indies Cricket Board NAGICO Super50 tournament.
“Playing for CCC would not be any different for me, as I still plan to go out there and put in 100%, doing what I have to do to ensure my team win.
“Added to that, it can be seen as an improvement for my own cricket, as I really wanted to take it to the next level and I see this as an opportunity for me which I plan to grasp with both hands, so it will not be any different for me,” said Jacobs.
He added, “As captain of the team also, you have to lead from the front and by example, doing the necessaries required of a captain and this is not something that I am now doing, since I captained Guyana’s Under-19 team to back-to-back titles and also the West Indies Under-19 as well.
“Added to that, I have led Malteenoes Sports Club at the Under-19 and first division level in Guyana so the captaincy role is nothing new to me, for I know what to expect and it will not be difficult leading CCC, since I played with the players in the Barbados Cricket Association tournaments for University of the West Indies, so it will be a comfortable task for me.”
Jacobs played 14 first class matches for Guyana, scoring 420 runs at an average of 18.26 with a topscore of 75 and he has taken 28 wickets at an average of 33.46, with his best returns being 4 for 61 against Jamaica last April, when Guyana faced that team in the WICB Regional four-day tournament at the Guyana National Stadium.
He is of the view that his absence from the Guyana team would make the way for another all-rounder like himself to come forward and hog the spotlight, but when quizzed on whether he felt hard-pressed to make his national side, hence his decision to take up the CCC offer, Jacobs replied in the negative without hesitation.
“Nope, I know I would have played for Guyana … get it straight that I am not running … I would have made the team … so erase that talk that I know would surface that I am running because of the number of players who are pressing for a claim, since anyone who knows Steven Jacobs knows fully well that Steven Jacobs is a fighter,” said Jacobs.
He added, “This is for my leadership development. As I said before, I thought about it long and hard and sat down and spoke with certain individuals, even within the GCB and as everyone knows that I had captained my country at Under-15 and Under-19 and was very successful and also WI Under-19 and I know I would have made the Guyana team.
Playing for CCC does not mean I am shelving my plans to lead Guyana at the senior level, for having led my country at both the Under-15 and U-19 levels with success and later the West Indies, my next goal was to lead Guyana, so I say again, I am not running, I am a fighter.”
Earlier, Chronicle Sport learnt while speaking with Hon. Secretary of the GCB Anand Sanasie, the final decision was left to Jacobs to make, after consultation between the player, who played for the Amazon Warriors in the inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League, and GCB’s Chairman of Selectors Rayon Griffith.
“A request was made from CCC to the GCB, for Jacobs to be released to lead that side in the NAGICO Super50 and same was granted, only after our Chairman of Selectors sat down and held a discussion with Jacobs, who had the final decision to make.
“Out of that discussion, it was noted that should Jacobs, who is currently undergoing studies at the Cave Hill, St Michael Barbados-based University of the West Indies, decide to take up the offer from the CCC, he will have the full backing of the GCB,” said Sanasie.
He added, “In that discussion, it was highlighted to Jacobs the positives (deriving out of) his leading the CCC can have on his cricketing profile as well as his leadership skills and we at the GCB do not have any intentions of denying any player under our jurisdiction, the right to have upward mobility in the sport, hence we consented to the request from the CCC, while giving Jacobs our full backing.”
Jacobs leaves for Barbados tomorrow, where he will be commencing preparations for this month-end’s WICB NAGICO Super50 tournament in Trinidad and Tobago. CCC is grouped Barbados, Leeward Islands and host nation Trinidad and Tobago in Group B, with Group A consisting of defending champions Windward Islands, Jamaica, Ireland and Guyana.
Written By Calvin Roberts