Director of Sports Neil Kumar last evening praised the efforts of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) along with Chairman of the national selectors Rayon Griffith for putting together one of the best teams he has seen in a long time to participate in the 2014 Nagico Regional Super50 tournament.
The 14-man squad now named the Guyana Malta Supreme team after being exclusively sponsored by the Banks non-alcoholic malt
beverage and led by all-rounder Christopher Barnwell winged out for the Twin Island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago yesterday morning in search of their 10th Regional 50-over title.
Prior to their departure, the players and executives of the GCB, along with team, media, Malta’s Brand Manager Clayton McKenzie and Kumar were treated to a traditional dinner ceremony held at the Wind Jammer Hotel in Kitty, where the players donned their newly sponsored team attire.
GCB Secretary Anand Sanasie expressed gratitude towards the players who were mature and responsible during the near one month camp. He also showered Griffith, Julian Moore and Coach Esaun Crandon for pushing the players to their peak which makes the team one of the better prepared teams in the tournament.
“I just want say how happy I am to see the national cricket team, who will represent us in the Super50 Tournament. I have never seen so much effort placed in training and the physical fitness programme before,” said Kumar. He further noted that if players are fit they can focus more and play the game better.
Kumar deemed the team as “well-balanced” in terms of talent and experience. He also told the players that he strongly believes that Guyana has so far had the best training out of all the countries and should utilize this to their advantage.
Alvin Johnson, Manager of the team proudly declared that the team is one of the best in the competition and consist of top-class batsmen and bowlers who are capable of extracting success. Malta brand Manager McKenzie elucidated to the players that the ingredients featured in the Malta beverage is ideal for giving them that extra boost as it contains no alcohol and has honey and Vitamin C.
McKenzie further wished the players the best of luck and encouraged them to reflect the same amount of supremacy that the Malta brand embodies, while advising them to bring home the silverware for the tenth time.
Meanwhile Barnwell who spoke to Stabroek Sports immediately after the conclusion of the dinner ceremony said that the boys are raring to go and a very confident.
”I think the preparation was wonderful and everybody is confident after the training and engaging in the practice matches.”
Speaking about his dual role as captain and a key player in the team, the West Indies all-rounder stated: “I have been captaining for the past few years, I captained my club DCC and I also captained Demerara at the inter-county so being a captain helped me to be more mature about how I play my cricket.”
West Indies Test batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul during an invited comment hinted to his loyal fans that he will not be hanging up his boots any time soon.
”I’m just thanking the fans I’m taking it one day at a time and to just wait and see how far I can go,” he said.
The legendary left-handed batsman also explained that the team did a lot of hard work to get to this point, noting that the players firmly passed their tests with flying colours. He also said that he would like to get some runs under his belt to help benefit the team, elaborating that if he does come to the party it will be a great achievement for the team.
Guyana will face Ireland on Friday in their opening game, followed by encounters with defending champions Windwards on February 4, then Jamaica on February 8 in three respective day/night matches which are all scheduled to bowl off at 13:30hrs daily.
The Guyana team read: Christopher Barnwell (Capt.), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (Vice-Capt.), Robin Bacchus, Ronsford Beaton, Devendra Bishoo, Anthony Bramble (w/k), Royston Crandon, Narsingh Deonarine, Assad Fudadin, Trevon Griffith, Leon Johnson, Veerasammy Permaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Paul Wintz, Esaun Crandon (Coach), Alvin Johnson (Manager) and Rayon Griffith (assistant Coach).