Johnson optimistic Guyana can win Super50 title

National middle-order batsman Leon Johnson is adamant that Guyana is one of the better teams in this year’s NAGICO Super50 tournament with the potential to win its 10th Regional 50-over title when the competition bowls off on January 30 in Trinidad and Tobago.

The confident West Indies ‘A’ batsman spoke to Stabroek Sports yesterday and was very optimistic about the team winning the title after a nine-year drought. “The team has good potential and it has been nine years since we last won the title, but you don’t just turn up and win,” he said.

The former West Indies Under-19 skipper noted that despite the potential possessed by the players and despite having one of the better teams in the tournament, Guyana still has to go out and play for its success and taking it “step by step” will be the remedy.

Leon Johnson
Leon Johnson

Speaking about the ongoing camp and its efforts to prime and polish the players, the 26-year-old noted that the camp was very important to the development of the cricketers who will seek to correct their techniques ahead of the tournament.

He credited the work done by National coach Esaun Crandon, Chairman of National Selectors Rayon Griffith and Berbice head coach Julian Moore, who have worked with him since the first day of encampment as well as the pair of army officers who have intensely drilled the players during the past few days.

Johnson further extolled on the virtues of the presence of former West Indies skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan and current West Indies Test batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul for their proactive approach shown towards the younger players during the camp.

“We have some youngsters in the squad who are getting along good with the senior players such as Shiv (Chanderpaul) and Sarwan who continue to give insight and share experience with the players,” he said.

The 2013 male cricketer of the year has had an outstanding past year scoring his maiden first-class century against Sri Lanka and then going on to have an excellent tour of India, narrowly missing out on two more tons at the first-class level.

He was also Guyana’s leading run-scorer in last year’s Regional Super50 with scoring 204 runs from 6 matches with one half-century, but still admitted that despite a near perfect year of form internationally and locally, fine-tuning is still required.

“I’ve been doing a lot of work with Cranny (Crandon) and Griffith working on a few things while having the army officials’ work with us for the first time is very good, they have helped the team to get fitter,” he explained.

Leon Johnson (Blue Cap) indulging in some catching practice with the rest of his teammates during the ongoing training camp
Leon Johnson (Blue Cap) indulging in some catching practice with the rest of his teammates during the ongoing training camp

Guyana is in Group A with defending champions Windward Islands, Jamaica and Ireland, commencing their campaign with their first match against the Irish. Guyana won the Regional 50-over titles in 1980, 1983, 1985, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2003 and 2005 being the last year when opener Sewnarine Chattergoon’s century stole the show from Barbados in the KFC Cup final played at Bourda.

Latest in Sports

The Zouks celebrate (CPL T20 photo)

Charles, Miller shine as Zouks stun title-holders

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,  CMC – West Indies opener Johnson Charles belted an attacking half-century and South African David Miller produced an entertaining late cameo as St Lucia Zouks stunned title-holders Trinbago Knight Riders by six wickets in the opening game of the Caribbean Premier League here Wednesday night.

Members of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for the CBC U16 Championships George Vyphius (left), GABF Head, Nigel Hinds, Director of Sports, Christopher Jones and Japarts’ Terry Singh display the new Shot Clock that will be installed at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.

FIBA certified equipment arrives for CBC c/ships

With the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) u16 Championships only days away, the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) has acquired the FIBA Level-1 Certified Equipment for the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal sweating on injuries ahead of Poland clash

PARIS, (Reuters) – Portugal’s coach Fernando Santos will leave his final decision on team selection for the quarter-final clash against Poland until this morning because of injuries to at least two players, he told reporters.

Novak Djokovic

History man Djokovic aims to keep breaking records

LONDON, (Reuters) – Novak Djokovic made tennis history at Wimbledon yesterday when he notched up the most consecutive grand slam match victories in the Open Era, and said he aimed to continue his assault on the record books.

default placeholder

Former champion Kvitova in a hurry to reach round two

LONDON, (Reuters) – Twice champion Petra Kvitova needed just 15 minutes to bulldoze through the first set against Romania’s Sorana Cirstea at Wimbledon yesterday, taking the match 6-0 6-4.

default placeholder

Increased venues, franchises in pipeline as league seeks expansion

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Caribbean Premier League organisers say they will explore pushing the increasingly popular Twenty20 tournament into Asia, as well as expanding the number of franchises involved and hosting them in North American cities.

Flashback-Part of the earlier action in the Ministry of Health/Petra Organization Soft Shoe Championship at the Parade Ground

Soft shoe football tourney resumes today with round of 16 matches

Rescheduled due to the inclement weather, the Ministry of Health/Petra Organization Soft Shoe football championships will resume today with the round of 16 stage at the Santos Training Area on the Square of the Revolution.

default placeholder

Federer plays cameo role to end Willis fairytale

LONDON, (Reuters) – Few players have reduced the great Roger Federer to a role as secondary attraction on Wimbledon’s Centre Court but for one hour and 25 minutes yesterday he had just a walk-on part in the Marcus Willis fairytale.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: