Demerara players undergo rigorous fitness tests

-Inter-County team to be selected today

The Demerara Cricket team yesterday underwent their first day of fitness trials at the Bourda ground, as selectors began to scout for players who will comprise the final selection of the team ahead of the 2013 Pepsi Inter-county one day tournament which commences on Saturday.

Drilled at the iconic ground which will host all of the inter-county matches except the final, the first leg of the trials commenced at 7:00am yesterday morning, while the second leg began at 13:00hrs.

Young batting sensation and son of West Indies test batting legend Tagenarine Chanderpaul does  his fitness drills watched closely by national selector Rayon Griffith at left. (Orlando Charles photo)
Young batting sensation and son of West Indies test batting legend Tagenarine Chanderpaul does his fitness drills watched closely by national selector Rayon Griffith at left. (Orlando Charles photo)

Players began the session by testing their stamina and oxygen uptake by virtue of a beep/bleep test. Players ran 20-mile shuttles back and forth for a designated period of time and after completion of the beep exam; the players then free-ran 50-mile shuttles with the use of cones.

Under the watchful eye of senior coach Orin Bailey and national selector Rayon Griffith, members of the 24-man team sough to impress the selectors by completing a series of drills and simulations in a bid to secure a spot in the final 14-man team.

Players such as Trevon Griffith, Steven Jacobs, Christopher Barnwell, Paul Wintz, Shemroy Barrington, Kemol Savory, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Kellon Carmichael, Andre Stoll, Zaheer Mohamed, Robin Bacchus, Derwin Christian and a few other notable cricketers, took part in the day long trials.

After the beep trails concluded, the players were engaged in a  cardiovascular aspect of fitness as they were drilled on push-ups and sit-ups, followed by “military boot-camp” simulated drills, with the use of chairs and cones.

The players were given a break to regroup before the afternoon leg, which featured a match simulated session, with players applying their respective trades of batting and bowling. Batsmen paired up for a six over period, with the aim of scoring as quickly and responsible as possible against the various bowlers, who looked to find their line and length.

Chairman of the national selection panel Rayon Griffth applauds the effort of Paul Wintz at yesterday’s Demarara Inter-County cricket squad fitness drills. (Orlando Charles photo)
Chairman of the national selection panel Rayon Griffth applauds the effort of Paul Wintz at yesterday’s Demarara Inter-County cricket squad fitness drills. (Orlando Charles photo)

The opening pair of Griffith and Bacchus started off watchfully, but then opened up hitting boundaries, displaying consciousness coordination, whenever they picked up the singles and two’s.

After seeing off their designated six overs, the second pair of left-handers Chanderpaul and Rajendra Chandrika looked solid in their spell of batting, but it was the senior pair of Barnwell and Jacobs who looked ominous as they put the bowlers  to the sword with balls disappearing over the ropes, into the stands and out of the ground.

Bowlers such as Carmichael and Wintz were impressive and found their lines quickly. However, the team’s concern will be their spinners who took a hammering at the hands of the two all-rounders.

After the day’s session concluded, the players then stretched and had a chat with Bailey, as they got some much needed rest ahead of the afternoon’s segment.

The final trial session is set for today and the players will be engaging in a practice match at the Demerara Cricket Club ground (DCC), at 13:00hrs. The selectors will make the final decision in announcing the 14-man team who will represent Demerara this Saturday.

The tournament opens with the highly anticipated clash between underdogs, Essequibo who this past weekend announced their team and Demerara, who will seek to take their player’s form and momentum into the first encounter.