I hope performers from the Cricket Guyana Inc Jaguars three-day Franchise League are duly rewarded for their performances.
It is indeed encouraging to see the perennial whipping boys of Guyana cricket, Essequibo, leading the points standings after four rounds of the ongoing GCB Franchise League. These wins are no flukes, as they have overcome some of the traditional powerhouse teams.
A few performances, such as Ricardo Adams’ brilliant hundred against traditional powerhouse, Georgetown, which ensured victory after they were tottering at 40-5, deserve special mention. Another Adams, this time a spinning all-rounder, is also raising eyebrows by topping the bowling charts as well as by scoring a century. Certainly such performances are deserving of closer scrutiny by the national selectors.
The big question from here is, will our national selectors reward such performances? Or will there be the traditional status quo where players from proven clubs and counties are given preferential selection? Talented players inevitably fall by the wayside if their performances are not suitably rewarded.
A case in point is the continued non-selection of the country’s most exciting fast bowling talent ‒ Ronsford Beaton. It is befuddling why such an exciting fast-bowling talent continues to be ignored by Guyana’s selectors when our team traditionally has a dearth of genuinely quick pacers. Beaton’s non selection has severely hampered his chances of being called to the WI Test team at a time when the senior team is in dire need of genuine fast bowlers. If one follows the WI Cricket Fan pages on Facebook, they will realize how highly regarded Beaton is throughout the West Indies. Certainly there has to be a non-cricketing reason for Beaton’s continued omission. Is it disciplinary? Or is he is facing the consequences of coming from a ‘small’ club and county?
In contrast, names like Jacobs and Barnwell are perennial selections despite their numbers continuously falling with every season.
Guyana has no shortage of genuine talent. Youngsters like Hetmeyer, Yadram, Paul, Beaton, Tage Chanderpaul, among others, have all the ingredients to make it to the very top. They need to be encouraged and given every opportunity to represent our country. Sooner, rather than later, they need to be made the core of our national team which will take us forward for the next decade or so.
The present Franchsie League, much like it did last year, continues to throw up encouraging performances from players from non-traditional teams. The onus is on our selectors to be impartial and ensure that these performers are given their opportunity for selection to the national team.