While it was expected that Guyana’s Super50 squad named for the upcoming West Indies Cricket Board’s Regional limited overs competition would contain a great number of the players who participated in the recent Caribbean T20 competition the fact that some seven players from the T20 squad are in the Guyana 13-member squad for the Regional Four-Day Competition must be cause for concern.
Both squads this year will be missing regulars Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Narsingh Deonarine who will be on duty with the West Indies senior team Down Under.
However three young guns, Leon Johnson, Steven Jacobs and Christopher Barnwell are aware that they will need to play key roles if the teams are to do well in this year’s competitions.
Vice-Captain Johnson, who will be serving in his fourth tenure in that capactity, was optimistic about Guyana’s chances in the longer version of the game.
Speaking of his role Johnson noted that it adds a sense of leadership to his batting in the middle order which will be even more necessary in the absence of Deonarine, the leading run scorer in last year’s competition.
The Guyana batting will have to depend a lot of Fudadin, the second leading run scorer in last year’s competition, Johnson, Barnwell, Rajendra Chandrika and Tagenarine Chanderpaul, the baby of the team who will be having his first taste of regional First Class cricket.
Johnson said the decision to include three fast bowlers was a good one as he said that the “pitches in the Caribbean have quickened up.”
Guyana’s squad for the first round of the competition includes three fast bowlers and the pace of all-rounder Christopher Barnwell. Ronsford Beaton impressed in the Caribbean T20 and is likely to spearhead the attack which may also include Keon Joseph and Paul Wintz.
Johnson noted that Guyana has faced more pace-based attacks although still opting for spin-based approaches to bowling out the opposition.
The WICB has announced that the Four-Day team will be competing for the Headley/Weekes Trophy, named after the legendary pillars of West Indian batsmanship George Headley and Sir Everton Weekes.
The Super50 team is to a large extent, similar to the T20 team in the sense that some nine members of the T20 team which played in the just concluded Caribbean T20 tournament won by Trinidad over Guyana in the final are in this year’s One-Day team.
However, unlike the fast and frenzied nature of the T20 tournaments, the Super50 competition does allow a batsman to spend a little longer time at the crease.
Guyana play their first Super50 game on February 7 against the Leeward Islands in Antigua.
Vice-captain of the Super50 team Barnwell, spoke confidently about Guyana’s chances in the competition following their recent success at the Caribbean T20.
He suggested that the confidence from reaching the Caribbean T20 final would be transferred into the two upcoming tournaments. Barnwell noted that as professionals, the players can adjust to the rigours of participating in all three formats of the game, although he did agree that it was a challenge. He said that the team would “switch on” in each format and was confident the side would do so as both tournaments progessed.
After playing a match-winning knock of 88 against Jamaica in the semi-final of the Caribbean T20, Barnwell said that he “needed to keep the form in the absence of senior players,” in both the First-Class and Super50 competitions.
He noted that as vice-captain of the team, as well as an all-rounder, his role would vary and said that he needed to continue to contribute to the team’s success, as well as to guide some of the younger players in the team.
Barnwell believes that Guyana is improving in the longer version of the game. He made reference to Guyana’s semi-final showing in 2012 which ended in defeat to Jamaica by 133 runs and said he sees the Four-Day competition as a chance for batsmen to spend much more time at the crease and build their innings.
Man-of-the-Match in two crucial Caribbean T20 matches Jacobs, retains his place in both the Regional Four-Day and Super50 squads. The all-rounder’s off-spin was a key aspect of Guyana’s success against the Windward Islands and Barbados and may well be used extensively in the two upcoming tournaments.
Speaking with Stabreok Sport Jacobs said that he bowled well throughout the tournament, but was disappointed that he didn’t score more runs, as a batting all rounder.
Jacobs said he wants to contribute more with the bat in the form of centuries as well as continue to bowl well as he looks forward to the upcoming tournaments.
Jacobs said that Guyana has grown as a team adding that that progression was evident. He also noted that the opportunity has presented itself for new players to solidify their positions on the Guyana team. Guyana’s first game in the Four-Day competition will be on February 9 against the Leeward Islands at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua, with their second game being on February 15 against Barbados at Kensington Oval, Barbados.
The Guyana Four-Day squad reads: Rajendra Chandrika, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Leon Johnson,(Vice-captain), Assad Fudadin, Christopher Barnwell, Steven Jacobs, Derwin Christian, Veerasammy Permaul (Captain), Devendra Bishoo, Ronsford Beaton, Paul Wintz, Keon Joseph and Amir Khan.
Super50 squad: Rajendra Chandrika, Trevon Griffith, Leon Johnson, Assad Fudadin, Christopher Barnwell (Vice Captain), Steven Jacobs, Rajiv Ivan, Derwin Christian, Veerasammy Permaul (Captain), Devendra Bishoo, Ronsford Beaton, Paul Wintz and Ricardo Adams.