EVEN though they lead the points standing with 107 points after recording six wins from their seven matches competed in the West Indies Cricket Board/Professional Cricket League Regional four-day tournament so far, the Guyana Jaguars bowlers have struggled to dismiss the opposition lower order.This has resulted in the batsmen posting record-breaking totals as in the case of the Leeward Islands Hurricanes when Gavin Tonge and Jeremiah Louis added 65 for the final wicket, thus delaying the Jaguars’ march to victory.
It was also evident in their fifth round encounter against Jamaica Franchise, their opponents for this Friday’s eight round clash at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, where the last-wicket pair added a record 88 to stall another victory march for the Jaguars.
However, assistant coach and manager of the Jaguars, Rayon Griffith, in an invited comment with Chronicle Sport yesterday, is reminding his bowlers who have struggled in recent times against lower order batsmen, to continue to exercise patience.
“We are working on dispatching the tail of our opponents as quickly as possible, something our bowlers have struggled with throughout this competition. However, that aside, our bowlers are doing a tremendous job for us and I just wish to congratulate and at the same time encourage them on a job well done so far.
Having said that, I also wish to remind them that patience is virtue and it reaps success also, so while they have struggled to dispatch the opposition lower order quickly, I wish to take this time to remind them to be patient,” said Griffith.
He said the Jaguars along with the players who were contracted to train in the Cricket Guyana Inc. Academy earlier this year, will be at the Guyana National Stadium from 13:00hrs today, where they will commence preparations for this weekend’s clash.
Quizzed on whether there are any injuries in the team right now, Griffith without hesitation replied in the negative, but said, “I know of no injuries being reported to me even as we speak now, but when the guys gather at the stadium tomorrow (today), then we will know if any of them has any injuries or niggles.”
He is of the strong view that once the Jaguars continue to do what they have been doing so far, even though they suffered a shocking two-run defeat to the Barbados Pride in the third round, they can maintain their supremacy in the tournament with a win over the Jamaicans this weekend.
However, he expressed concern that his top and middle order have not been able to click and blend in with the lower order who have been doing very well throughout the tournament.
“It’s of deep concern to us, (head coach Esaun Crandon and me) that the top and middle order have not been clicking and blending in with the lower order so far. Once we can get that done and the lower order continues to do what they have been doing in the past games with the bat, then we will post a mammoth total against our opponents.
“This will also enable our bowlers to exercise more patience when they are in the field, irrespective of who the opposition is, as they have been doing a tremendous job for us in the seven games we have played so far,” said Griffith.
Griffith took the time to shower praise on the administrators of CGI, who he believes is doing a tremendous job in overseeing the affairs of the Jaguars, while at the same time they have contracted 12 other players who can be called cubs of the Jaguars, to undergo training under a team of coaches.
“With all due respect to the past administrators of the game in Guyana, the way CGI is handling the affairs of the Jaguars, certainly underlines the professional approach which is needed for the administration of cricket in Guyana.
In addition to that, I wish to commend the management of CGI, for the brilliant idea wherein 12 other players who were not contracted by the WICB for the PCL were given contracts and are presently undergoing training sessions under the guidance of coaches Michael Hyles-Franco and Clive Grimmond” said Griffith.
He believes that such a move by CGI would definitely serve the Jaguars in the long run, since management can look to the Academy and select a suitable replacement player for the Jaguars frontline squad, if such a need arises.
The Jaguars, who are being led by West Indies left-handed batsman Leon Johnson, with Vishaul Singh as his deputy, will be at the Guyana National Stadium over the next three days at various times, preparing for their eighth-round clash with the Jamaica Franchise who are expected in Guyana sometime today.
(By Calvin Roberts)