Travis Persaud will lead the Guyana Under-17 Team in the regional tournament in Trinidad and Tobago which starts Tuesday with Guyana facing the Leeward Islands at Bon Accord ground in Tobago.
Guyana is seeking the only accolade that has eluded its youth team. Persaud who is in his second year at this level and is captain of the local team, is aiming to create history for Guyana. His elevation to the helm is based on the leadership skills he displayed for Demerara during the recently concluded Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Under-17 Tournament where he led his team to comprehensive victories over Essequibo and Berbice. Former national under-15 player Renaldo Ali-Mohamed will be Persaud’s deputy.
Besides Persaud, four other players are making a return to the squad: all-rounders Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford and Brandon Prasad and opening batsman Ronaldo Rene who scored the most runs (101 in two innings) in the GCB U-17 2014 tournament completes that list.
The full squad reads: Travis Persaud (captain), Renaldo Ali-Mohamed (vice-captain), Adrian Sukwah, Raymond Perez, Ronaldo Rene, Sherfane Rutherford, Ramnarine Chatura, Timothy McAlmont, Brandon Prasad, Keemo Paul, Kelvin Shewprasad, Akenie Adams, Richie Looknauth and Ratash Umrao. Manager: Nazeer Mohamed and Coach: Gavin Nedd.
Nazimul Drepaul, chairman of the national junior selection panel in a brief comment to Stabroek Sports said that the criteria for selection to the team was the players’ performance in the GCB U-17 Inter-County Competition. He believes the team’s all-round ability is sufficient to guide Guyana to the title.
With three days to go before their departure, Drepaul said the team will use two limited over matches, today and tomorrow against the Guyana under-15 team which was not named, for preparation. The games will be played at the Everest Cricket Club ground from 9.30am both days. Critics have wondered if this could be considered adequate preparation.
The coach echoed Drepaul’s sentiment about the team’s capacity. Nedd said although he is confident of the abilities of his three fast bowlers (Paul, Ali-Mohammed and Rutherford) the batting depth of his team is where the strength lies.
“Fortunately for the squad, the fast bowlers are also genuine batsmen who can give a good account of themselves at any position in the line-up…Besides the front line spinners, most of the batsmen bowls occasional spin,” Nedd said.
The Guyana U-17 team will depart for Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday.