Chairman of the national selectors for the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), Rayon Griffith has said that the hunger shown by the players in the recently concluded senior four-day competition will fuel the engine for the upcoming Regional Super 50 and four-day tournaments which bowl off next month in the Twin Island Republic of Trinidad & Tobago.
According to Griffith who spoke to Stabroek Sports on Thursday in an exclusive interview, he was impressed with the level of cricket shown by some of the senior players as well as a few youngsters who he noted, showed maturity.
The 2013 competition was played amongst the teams of the three counties: Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice, along with a GCB President’s XI team formed with reserve players from the three counties.
Berbice topped the table with 22 points and dethroned the former champs Demerara who ended with 16. President’s XI was second on the table with 19 and Essequibo last with 4.
The standout performers in the tournament were the ex-West Indian pair of Devendra Bishoo and Royston Crandon who represented Berbice, while the player who batted with infinite patience, class and intent to score big was President’s XI skipper Vishal Singh. Griffith lauded the efforts of Singh who secured the award for best batsman, stating that he impressed with his hundred against Berbice when he played under some amount of pressure.
Bishoo, who represented the West Indies in 11 Test and 13 ODIs captured 25 wickets in the tournament, and received the best bowler and MVP awards after bamboozling most of his opponents. Griffith was also happy to see a few of the seasoned batsmen such as Ryan Ramdass, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Leon Johnson, Chris Barnwell and a few others contributing with runs for their respective teams, but stated that the pitches along with weather conditions were probable reasons as to why most batters did not capitalise on their good starts.
Other performers mentioned by the selector were Berbicians Royston Crandon and Raun Johnson; Essequibo’s young talent Kemo Paul along with his teammate Rayan Fredricks and President’s XI wicket-keeper batsman Jason Sinclair. He stated that the 6’5” Johnson bowled well throughout the competition and looked like a good prospect for Guyana, along with Crandon who scored an unbeaten century and also ended with 10 wickets.
Sinclair, who has been a household name in the Ancient County for some years grabbed the opportunity to represent the President’s XI. He scored a half-century and made a few starts in other innings.
From a team perspective, Essequibo has been terribly out of sorts, not managing to win a game or even draw first innings points. However the Cinderella county’s pair of Paul and Fredricks who exercised good temperament and positive approaches, were the backbone of their team’s batting line up, being the most consistent scorers.
This, Griffith noted, was good to see being exhibited by players in a team that was going through a rough time. Optimistic about former national all-rounder Esuan Crandon as their coach and future plans to have more experienced players assigned to work with the team, Essequibo can lift themselves out of the barren patch they have been experiencing and tap into their untouched talents.
A former national player in his own right, Griffith also explained that with all the rain that has plagued the country for the year it was difficult to run off tournaments without any interruptions. He commended Berbice for their win and acknowledged that the new champions “came out and played like they wanted to win.”
With his attention now directed to next month’s regional season, Griffith said he planned to work with a select 37 players who were named on Wednesday, to get them prepared for the competition through a fitness camp slated to commence on December 28.