Despite the dearth of firepower in the bowling department, Team Guyana’s Head Coach Roger Harper is optimistic about doing well in the upcoming Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament when the competition gets underway next month.
Harper, who along with legendary West Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose was selected to lead the local franchise as Coach and Head Coach respectively, said his squad comprises very good regional and international players who will seek to give their best performances when the tournament begins on July 30. Guyana will take on Trinidad and Tobago on July 31st at the Providence National Stadium.
In an interview with Stabroek Sport Thursday, the seasoned former player and coach revealed that while the player to lead the squad has not yet been appointed for the local franchise, senior players such as, Mohamed Hafeez who is the current T20 skipper for Pakistan and Guyanese Ramnaresh Sarwan who has acted in that capacity on many occasions and possesses knowledge of the local and regional players in the team are qualified candidates for the role. “We have a very good team, our regional players as well as international players are experienced,” Harper said. He also mentioned players such as Trinidad and Tobago’s Lendl Simmons, his countryman and ICC number one ranked bowler Sunil Narine along with wicket keeper Denesh Ramdin, all of whom Harper hinted are qualified enough to lead the team.
When asked about if wicketkeeper Ramdin will face any form of scrutiny due to the incident which took place recently in the ICC Champions Trophy where the keeper was handed a two match ban and fined 100 per cent of his match fee, Harper said, “No scrutiny should come under Denesh, the situation has already been dealt with and everyone will learn from that episode.” Ramdin had initially appeared to have caught a ball off Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq then stumbled forward where the ball slipped through his gloves onto the grass.
Regarding Guyana’s bowling department which boasts players such as local pacer Ronsford Beaton, Jamaican left arm seamer Krishmar Santokie, New Zealand all rounder James Franklin and spinners Veerasammy Permaul and Narine, Harper noted that the team was missing a bit more “fire power”.
When asked whether the team will miss veteran batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul who was scooped up by St Lucia, Harper acknowledged that “Shiv is a quality player and any team who are able to secure him will surely be happy.”
Team Guyana is set to come together seven days before the tournament begins and Harper relished the fact that the team is fortunate to have a local franchise owner whom he will collaborate with to identify and address what needs to be done.
When questioned if he believed that any particular team posed a threat to Guyana, the coach said, “All the teams in this tournament are capable of doing well they are also well balanced. They all have good players, it’s really about who goes out there and plays well.”