It was tough to watch the gutless capitulation of the Guyana team in the recent Four-Day Regional fixture on their home turf at Providence against a Barbados unit that was thrashed by Windward Islands in their opening match of the tournament. Despite a creditable performance by the Guyana bowling attack dismissing Barbados for 184 and 186 in their two innings, it was the visitors who throughout the contest exuded confidence in successfully defending those low totals, dismissing the locals for 140 and 94 respectively.
A slightly better showing in their second home game against the Windward Islands ended in a draw, but with another hour of time and good light the contest could have gone either way. Yet another weak batting performance there did not exactly inspire confidence. So then what could have been better to ease the pressure on this woeful Guyana unit than a match away from the glaring lights of the home field against bottom of the table opponents Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) with only 10 points, at the benign confines of the 3 W’s Oval in Barbados.
Instead, Guyana, despite the addition of talented batsman and skipper Leon Johnson, turned in another lacklustre performance to sink deeper into the abyss with a defeat at the hands of the students led by former Guyana allrounder Stephen Jacobs, by seven wickets in less than four days to take sole possession of last place on the points table. For Guyana in their innings of 263 all out and 173, the only bright spots in the match were a typically pedestrian 71 from 209 balls by Asad Fudadin, a competent 64 from 68 balls by the ever improving wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble in the first innings, a workmanlike second innings top score of 43 from 17 year old Tagenarine Chanderpaul, and 34 and 36 from the captain Johnson who should have done better with his starts in the match.
Chris Barnwell and Narsingh Deonarine were virtual no shows in the Guyana batting line-up with the latter having a nightmarish season picking up his fourth duck of the campaign in the second innings. The West Indies allrounder Deonarine who recently has shown more enthusiasm for bowling seems to have lost all confidence in his batting which blossomed so promisingly when he was a mere 15 year old. While other teams particularly Barbados, Windward Islands, and Jamaica appear to be progressing admirably through this Four-Day tournament, there seems to be nothing much that Guyana could do to salvage a lost season – a season that began with a highly touted training regimen and concomitant enthusiasm and expectation.
And so the time has come for an intervention by the Guyana Cricket Board that must recognize the urgency that goes beyond merely entering a representative team that is a legitimate participant in a regional tournament.
The team must be transformed from a group of individuals into a purposeful unit that is in it to win it. The management and the coaching regime appear to be at their wits’ end to respond to the colossal failure of this squad that for all intents and purposes is the best that local selectors could present. Now it is crunch time. Solicited or unsolicited it is time for the involvement of knowledgeable pros such as former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd and his teammate Roger Harper among others to be part of the solution.