‘No one expected us to win’

- Says Travis Persaud skipper of successful U19 one day champions Guyana

Guyana’s Under-19 Captain Travis Persaud thanked his team for giving “100 percent” which he said was the main catalyst behind winning the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional U19 tile for a record third time.

The team returned home yesterday afternoon at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport and received a warm welcome from Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) President Drubahadur, along with executives Colin Europe, Raj Singh and Director of Sports Christopher Jones. Persaud told Stabroek Sport during his interview that he was overwhelmed by his team’s performance which allowed them to successfully defend their title.  “We had a strong team who was capable of defending our title and I think we did a great job just pulling it off because I think we had a good camp leading up to the tournament too. “The pressure was hard because a lot of persons said things about us, so we just had to go out there and give 100 percent and we did that because no one expected us to win and we came from behind and did that so I’m very proud.”

Guyana lost all their matches in the three-day leg but won all their matches except one before easing to a five-wicket win against Windwards in Sunday’s final played in St Vincent. Persaud credited the impetus from the senior players for making significant impact during the tourney.

THREE-TIME CHAMPS! The victorious Guyana U19 team along with GCB Executives and Director of Sport Chris Jones.
THREE-TIME CHAMPS! The victorious Guyana U19 team along with GCB Executives and Director of Sport Chris Jones.

“Mainly the senior guys in the team performing, Keemo (Paul) had like three 50s and was the leading wicket taker as well as the MVP, Sherfane (Rutherford) made a 90 and took wickets and we also had the wicket-keeper with the most dismissals (Joshua Persaud), so those things all added up in us becoming champions,” said Persaud.

On a personal note, the top-order batsman, who was unable to play in the final due to injury, admitted that he didn’t get to put together good scores but still felt he had a decent tournament nevertheless. He was also optimistic that the players could further transition into the West Indies senior team in a couple of years once they remained dedicated and intent on performing well whenever they take to the field.

Meanwhile, Jones during his brief remarks told the team that they made the country proud with their “three-peat” and encouraged them to maintain the winning habits.

Drubahadur commended his young players for showing the fight needed to retain their title whilst telling them to shift their focus to the upcoming Jaguars Franchise League three-day competition and represent their respective franchises with the same diligence as they did for the national team.

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