Roger Harper calls for review of national team’s preparation

Former West Indies coach Roger Harper is calling for a review of the national cricket team’s preparation for the current West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) sponsored regional four-day tournament.

    Roger Harper
Roger Harper

“Was the preparation adequate? If not, an investigation needs to be done to see what can remedy the problem affecting the team,” the former West Indies and Guyana all-rounder told Stabroek Sports in an invited comment.

The Guyana team is languishing at the bottom of the points’ standing after two rounds without a point.

They lost by an innings and 147 runs to the Windward Islands in the first round and by 96 runs to the Combined Campuses and Colleges team in their second round fixture.

According to Harper the team has a major problem when the Test players are absent.

He, however feels that they should be able to rebound from the disastrous start where they lost outright both of their away matches and suggested that they might still be able to bring home the bacon.

Sewnarine Chattergoon
Sewnarine Chattergoon

He was disheartened to hear that neither Shivnarine Chanderpaul nor Ramnaresh Sarwan, the backbone of the team’s batting whenever they are available, would be in the local team but was glad that Chattergoon should be back.

Chattergoon, he reasoned, can add some stability to the batting.

Harper was also of the opinion that Chattergoon’s experience could be a great asset to whoever will be his opening partner.

“Confidence and ability are two very important qualities that he (Chattergoon) can add to the team,” Harper stated. Harper, who also had a stint as coach of Kenya’s cricket team, said that Guyana needed a player who can add stability in the middle.

  Assad Fudadin
Assad Fudadin

Questioned about Assad Fudadin, who was not a part of the present squad, Harper said that from what he knew, “Fudadin is someone who can lend support in the middle order.” ”Guyana needs a batsman who can stand like a rock and have the others blossom around him,” he opined.

Harper noted though that they are two factors that must be taken into account before the axe falls on any player.

Those factors, he said, were the “pre-tournament preparation” which was affected by seasonal rainfall and the fact that the Guyana team in some instances usually struggle with their away games. The team has drawn a bye this weekend and the local selectors were hoping to have the trio back in the fray in order to dig Guyana out of the hole they have left themselves in. The Guyana team’s batting has been the major disappointment so far.

The team has failed to reach 250 in any of its four innings so far falling for 172 and 95 against the Windwards and 247 and 222 against the Combined Campuses and Colleges team. Travis Dowlin (50), Narsingh Deonarine (86) and Darwin Christian (52) are the only batsmen to have chalked up half centuries.  Deonarine has chalked up 165 runs in four innings to hold the highest aggregate for a Guyanese in the tournament so far.

Guyana’s next game is billed for January 30-February 2 in Nevis against the Leeward Islands.

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