Essequibians Ricardo Adams and Ransford Beaton have placed the apparently ridiculed county on the sporting map through their excellent performances in the field of cricket. The batting talent of Adams has emerged as he became the first resident Essequibian to score a regional century, which he did against Trinidad in the 2012 WICB under 19 tournament that is being played in Barbados. He now joins an elite club. Meanwhile Beaton is the first Essequibian to be selected in a West Indies under 19 squad, and is only the second resident Essequibo player to play first-class cricket after Courtney Gonsalves did so about thirty-five years ago.
Beaton is regarded as one of the quickest young fast bowlers in the Caribbean, and he has already made a positive impact in the current under 19 World Cup in Australia. It is important to note that Ramnaresh Sarwan and Ivor Mendonca, both of whom played for the West Indies are Essequibians by birth. However their cricket careers were for the most part developed in Georgetown. These cherished accomplishments are few for Essequibo, but will remain within the hearts of Essequibians.
These talents show what can be developed and what will continue to emerge from the county despite the continuing tirade against the Essequibo Cricket Board, which incidentally must be commended for providing invaluable support to the careers of these two outstanding young cricketers.
In fact, former ECB President Sheik Ahmad can be credited with maintaining and reinforcing the mental strength and discipline of Adams in Wakenaam, while Beaton comes from a village in Reliance that has a rich history of national youth cricketers, including Mahendra Boodram, the Mandolall brothers, Rovendra Parasram and the late Balchand Shivambar.
It is interesting that both Adams and Beaton have graduated to a higher level even as they were establishing their primary careers. Adams was still under 15 when he played at the under 19 level in 2010, while Beaton is under 19 but would have already played at the senior national level.
These developments are comparable to the accomplishments of compatriots Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who also began their careers in such fashion. I was filled with emotion upon reading about the achievement of Trinidadian gold medalist Keshorn Walcott, which Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister described as bringing pride and recognition to the nation. It is the same sentiment that Essequibians embrace whenever the county’s sportsmen have excelled.
Of course such recognition would have been nullified given the outrageous claim that the ECB is condoning the current impasse in cricket and its players should not have been given the opportunity that they are now enjoying. Players from the counties of Demerara and Berbice were also selected in the Guyana under 19 squad.
The Berbice Cricket Board would have also ensured that they took care of the interest of their cricketers despite the circumstances. There is no Demerara Cricket Board but Demerarian Chandrapaul Hemraj has also accomplished his first regional century, and is destined to play Test cricket in the future, since he is a class act. I can only assume that these players would have been devastated if their dream of playing for their country was denied because of what is happening administratively.
It is not the view of the ECB that the manner in which the team was selected and prepared for such a prestigious and important tournament was the right course. The team nevertheless has done well amid the uncertainties surrounding the administration of the game and they must be applauded for their resolute and inspired performances. I also wish to recognize the individual brilliance of Berbicians Shawn Pereira, Gudakesh and Motie Kanhai, as well as Demerarians Brian Sattaur and Brandon Chanderpaul, all of whom will form the core of the next generation of cricketers for Guyana and the West Indies.
The ECB under the leadership of Prince Holder meanwhile will ensure that its cricketers are given the necessary exposure and that they have at their disposal the tools that will give them upward mobility. This includes the creation of all forms of cricket competition, structured coaching programmes and the reorganization of cricket clubs, in order to achieve the desired results and to provide confidence in the ECB.
This would mean that many of the promising players could be sponsored, even those who may be working and need the necessary time off to train and concentrate on their skill. The accomplishments of Adams and Beaton, however, are the immediate inspiration that will lift the confidence of the Board and represent special moments that will reaffirm the love of the game by Essequibians.