‘We are in much better shape than last time’

- Team gearing up for T’dad warm up matches

Coach of the of the Guyana national cricket team, Ravidranauth Seeram, and team captain Ramnaresh Sarwan are of the opinion that the Guyana national Twenty20 cricket team is in even better shape for the upcoming 2011 Caribbean Twenty20 than they were when the tournament was held this yea.

“They are in even better shape than last time, we have started training at least two weeks ago and as you can see the guys are very well.

“The training has been going very good, quite well, unfortunately we can’t get the middle [of the field] to practice on but this isn’t really affecting us.” Seeram told Stabroek Sport yesterday at the Stadium.

Ramnaresh Sarwan

Sarwan attributed this to the efforts being made by the team, describing the players’ commitment as tremendous.

“It’s tremendous to see the commitment [of the players], it is really great. In terms of fitness we’re better this time around, we’re better and that is due to the efforts of the players. But in terms of preparation we’re still working on that,” Sarwan said.

The team, which has already been selected, is currently undergoing training at the Guyana National Stadium, along with a few stand-by players. The players are preparing for  participation in the tournament which begins January 10, 2011 in Antigua.

The Guyana team has a tough opening assignment against Jamaica.

Guyana enters the tournament as the defending champions, and the targeted team to beat. Guyana, in Group ‘A’, and along with Jamaica, the Windward Islands, Somerset and the Combined Campus and Colleges cricket teams will have their work cut out to qualify for the next round.

The team is expected to play  three practice games from December 28 – 30 against Trinidad and Tobago in the twin island republic.

Ravidranauth Seeram

Seeram says hopefully the team will utilize these games to get in the necessary practice that they need to once again propel themselves to victory in the tournament.

The team’s physical trainer Kezqweyah Yisrael, also mentioned improvements made as it pertains to the players’ attitude towards “training and team spirit.”

Yisreal, a co-founder of the gym Genesis Fitness Express, noted that several of the players have employed him as a personal trainer, and this, he said, is clear indication of the players’ determination towards their development. He  noted in particular, the improvements made by Sarwan. “What is very, very well is their attitude towards training and team spirit, last time it wasn’t as high as it should have been but it’s better this time. There have  been improvements in their fitness, and the captain himself his strength and overall conditioning has improved significantly,” Yisreal said.

“I’ve worked with several of the guys personally and they have been putting in the work. Sarwan has been enjoying his training, if you ask him he’ll say he has been enjoying his training.”

Sarwan said that while the team is definitely hunting another win at the Caribbean Twenty20 tournament, at this point, they are not thinking too much of Airtel.

“What we want to is concentrate on what is happening now, Airtel is a long way from our thoughts right now,” Sarwan declared.

Foremost, Sarwan said is the practice matches that will take place in Trinidad next week. Sarwan said that the team will be using the practice matches as an opportunity to break in newcomer to the team Andre Stoll, as well as to give those still developing players the opportunity to grab some experience.

“At the game in Trinidad we will be playing to win, and it will more or less give us a gauge to see how well our new player will do and to get some more experience for some of the other guys who haven’t played much with the team.”  The team is scheduled to depart Guyana early next Monday to Trinidad for the practice matches.