Manager of the Guyana T20 cricket team that ended as runners up to Trinidad and Tobago in the just concluded West Indies Cricket Board’s Regional T20 cricket competition Alvin Johnson said that despite the disappointment of losing in the final, he viewed the tournament as successful.
“The tournament was successful in terms of what we wanted to achieve,” Johnson told Stabroek Sport last night.
“We came out well in the end,” he added.
Guyana’s cricket has been affected by the implementation of an Interim Management Committee (IMC), bitter and prolonged court battles on a number of issues, confusion over the status of some members of the GCB and whether the GCB members should function at all and a range of other issues but Johnson said he was glad that the team reached as far as it did with the type of preparation it had and the issues affecting Guyana’s cricket.
“I don’t want to get into anything political but in terms of the issues, cricket will prevail in the end,” he said.
Guyana reached the final after defeating Jamaica in the semi-final despite an unbeaten century 122 from West Indies superstar Chris Gayle and according to Johnson, the Guyana team really wanted to defeat the Jamaicans.
“We knew that we were capable of beating Jamaica. The players, they were hungry for it! They wanted it! The wicket was good for batting,” said Johnson of the Guyana team which overhauled a Jamaican score of 183-6 by posting 187-4 with Christopher Barnwell slamming a brilliant 88 to lead the Guyana run chase.
“Confidence was high going into the final,” said Johnson, who lamented the result against Trinidad in the final. “The result in the final was too wide a margin. We did not feel we competed. It was not reflective of the kind of cricket we had played or could play,” Jonson said.
Asked whether the fact that the Guyana team played on four consecutive nights might have been a factor Johnson said he was not sure.
“I think the players would not say so. We might have said it was not a major factor but it could have been. I did not like the body language in the final,” he said adding that the Trinidadians too were a bit concerned in not playing a match for a couple of days.
He did say that he felt the result might have been different if the Guyana team had bowled first.
“I think that if we had bowled first we would have had a better chance. The guys psyche is better when chasing.” Johnson said that Guyana and West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul was advised to rest for three days but said that the management team left the decision on whether he should play in the final up until late on the day of the final and in the end the left-hander could not play.
Johnson said he feels the team did well under the circumstances. “We gave a good account,” he said. “We had a chance to prove ourselves in what is the final such competition before the franchise-based competition is introduced. We had won the first in 2006 (the Stanford tournament) and we felt it would have been a nice thing to crown the competition by winning the last. Unfortunately we just came up short.”