Recently appointed captain of the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) team Steven Jacobs, yesterday said that the decision not to play for his country this year was based on his desire to take his career to another level adding that he hopes it will enhance his leadership skills in his quest to one day lead Guyana.
The 25-year-old, who spoke to Stabroek Sports yesterday in an exclusive interview,
the first since his appointment, was euphoric about his new role with the team and optimistic about doing well in the upcoming West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional tournament which commences later this month.
According to Jacobs, the decision to lead the CCC team was: “A stepping-stone for his leadership skills.”
He added that the captaincy role was something he…. “Always wanted to do and can do.
“I always want to play for my country. Personally, I would like to captain Guyana so it’s a good opportunity for me.
“Since U15 through to the U19’s I have had success so when the opportunity arose I grabbed it with both hands,” the all-rounder explained.
The former West Indies U19 captain, who made clear his intention to one day lead his country, said he hoped this opportunity will bring him closer to that dream. He also acknowledged that his loss to the Guyana team was a major blow for the middle-order ahead of the tournament.
Jacobs said that one positive which can be derived from his absence is that another young all-rounder who has been knocking on the door or who has been on the radar for some time can step into his place.
The Malteenoes player admitted that the decision to represent CCC was indeed his call after the team had proposed to the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) that he (Jacobs) take up the responsibility of skipper.
“It was my choice and I decided to do what was best for my career. I sat down with the selectors and my family and we decided what was best for me,” he explained.
Speaking on the reaction of the CCC players after his appointment, Jacobs declared that the team including coach, managers and other technical members “respect him” and if they had not then he would not have been asked to lead the side.
He said that he was comfortable with his new squad and credits playing cricket for the University of the West Indies (UWI) with most of the members as a reason for his comfort. “Playing with the team would not be hard, I played with the same guys at UWI and we gel together well,” said Jacobs.
The all-rounder was one of the most effective players in last year’s regional tournament collecting six wickets from six matches at an average of 25.50 in the Super50 leg.
However, it was his 245 runs with two half-centuries and a top score of 75 along with 17 wickets from his five matches in the four-day format which made Jacobs a key figure in the Guyana make-up.
With statistics like this from his last regional season, Jacobs expressed joy in anticipation of the new regional season, saying “I couldn’t wait for the start of the 2014 season,” adding that he is keen to go out and perform.
The all-rounder pointed out that he will be heading to Barbados on Monday to begin encampment and he will indulge in the usual training including his fitness test.
He was also brimming with confidence about his team which finished second last year in the Super50’s and stated that they will be aiming to “play hard” with hopes of repeating or having better results.
The off-break bowler wished the Guyana national team the best of luck in the tournament and said that he wanted it to be known that despite not playing for Guyana this year he is a “Guyanese” and “will always want to play for Guyana.”