Defending champions Berbice have short-listed a 20-man squad to defend its four-day Inter-County title, with notable omissions being regional record holder for wickets and former West Indies leg break bowler Mahendra Nagamootoo and former Guyana Under-19 captain Andre Percival.
Nagamootoo, the nephew of former West Indies captain and batsman Rohan Kanhai, played five tests for the West Indies taking 12 wickets at an average of 53.08 with best bowling figures of 3-119 and is a worthy contributor with both bat and ball when called upon.
He also represented the regional side in 24 One Day Internationals taking 18 wickets at an average of 55.44 with 4-32 being his best returns. He is no slouch in the field either, something that was evident when he took a smart catch at first slip to remove Brendon Nash in Guyana’s semi-final game against Jamaica in the just- concluded regional KFC Cup. He also has over 80 catches under his belt in first class cricket. His first class average as a batsman stands at 19.02 in his aggregate of 2,587 with an even 100 being his highest score. How much he will be missed by the Ancient County side is left to be seen.
Percival’s omission is another sad episode in this young batsman’s career. Ever since his Under-19 days, he was touted to be another great West Indian cricketer to come out of the Berbice region. He led Guyana well to three consecutive youth titles from 1992-1994 and held the record of being the youngest first class player from Guyana at the age of 16, before it was broken by present West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan.
He has an average of 27.04 in first class cricket, with an aggregate of 1271 runs and a high score of 96. Percival is also a useful slow bowler that can complement any bowling attack.
The selectors apparently are looking at youth for the future, so they could find no place for Nagamootoo and Percival in their squad which will be led by national opener Sewnarine Chattergoon who will have national all rounder Esaun Crandon as his deputy.
Also included in the provisional 20-man squad that will commence training from today at the Port Mourant Community Centre ground are Berbice under-19 players Ranga Lachigadu, wicket keeper/batsman Anthony Bramble and Ramnarine Chattergoon who represented the Combined Campuses and Colleges in the recent Regional KFC Cup competition.
Bramble will be contending for the wicket keeping position alongside Kwesi Mentore and Delbert Hicks while Lachigadu will be hoping to fill one of the opener’s slot as he contends for it with Royston Crandon, Moshin Peerkhan and Bermine’s prolific batsman Maxie De Jonge, who has been among the runs in the Isaac Bissoon three- day competition in Berbice.
The 20-man squad reads: Sewnarine Chattergoon (captain), Ramnarine Chattergoon, Moshin Peerkhan, Maxie De Jonge, Royston Crandon, Homchand Pooran, Richard Ramdeen, Narsingh Deonarine, Gajanand Singh, Assad Fudadin, Ranga Lachigadu, Kwesi Mentore (wkpr), Delbert Hicks (wkpr), Anthony Bramble (wkpr), Kelon Henry, Kwesi Maltay, Brendon Bess, Jeremy Gordon, Esaun Crandon, Imran Jafferally, Devendra Bishu and Veerasammy Permaul.
The squad, which will also be having practice sessions tomorrow and Thursday at the Albion Community Centre ground will be coached by former Berbice batsman and current national under-19 coach Hubern Evans and managed by vice president of the Berbice Cricket Board of Control, David Black.
Berbice will play their first game of the Inter-County competition against Essequibo at Bourda from November 16-19. The competition is set to be partly sponsored by the Guyana Beverage Company.