I am a Guyanese living in Jamaica, and a keen cricket fan, revelling in the glory days of batting giants like Kanhai, Butcher, Solomon amd Fredericks in the ʼ60s, and then later on the likes of Lloyd, Hooper and Chanderpaul. I vividly remember a match at Bourda against Barbados in 1967 in which the Guyana batting machine made a record 641 for 5 declared, with 3 Guyanese making centuries in the first innings: Fredericks 127, Kanhai 144 no, Butcher 183 no and Barbados responding with 552 ‒ Peter Lashley 204, Sobers clean bowled by pacer English for 165. In the second innings that Guyana batted, Fredericks became an immortal with his second century of the match with 115.
Just out of public interest, a friend of the noted Guyanese broadcaster Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira posted on Facebook his recommended Guyana All Star 11. Reds and I have had many discussions of his recommended team, and coming out of these discussions, my recommendations are below. It would be interesting to hear the public’s views on the selection of a Guyana All Star 11.
My views are based on the long version of the game, viz First class 4-day fixtures.
Whereas these ‘All-Star’ teams are 11 theoretical selections, I am taking the view that an All-Star team should be used as a long term team as opposed to a one-off game, and therefore the absence of an established wicket-keeper to ‘allow’ an additional batsman to be included should not be entertained. This tactic is used often to allow a Kanhai or Clyde Walcott to be batsman/keeper. Not on. Therefore in consultation with my friend Reds, he reckons that Cyril Christiani, who died at the tender age of 25 in 1938 and who played only 4 Tests was our best keeper. According to Reds, his forte was his ability to stand up at the wicket to fast bowlers with the added capability of stumping batsmen with a ball bowled down the leg side. OK. Reon King could not make my 11. John Trim was reportedly very fast; in 1952 against Australia, playing in only one Test of the five Test series ‒ the fourth Test at Melbourne ‒ he clean bowled the prolific opener Arthur Morris for 6, clean bowled Keith Miller for 47 as well as Ring 6, trapped Ray Lindwall LBW for 13 and had Ian Johnson caught behind for 1, finishing with figures of 5 for 34 off 12 overs. His non-selection in the next Test is one of the mysteries of West Indies selections that occur up to this day. Overall, he played in only 4 Tests, picking up 18 wickets @ 16.16 av. He would be my pick alongside Croft to open the bowling along with Gibbs and Hooper bowling spin (Hooper quietly took 100 Test wickets and made over 6,000 Test runs as the all-rounder/ spinner and is the only West Indian Test player other than Sobers to take 100 Test wickets and score over 6,000 test runs).
My 11 in batting order:- 1-Fredericks 2- Kanhai 3- Kallicharan 4-Butcher 5-Chanderpaul 6-Lloyd 7-Hooper 8- Cyril Christiani 9- Croft 10-Trim 11- Gibbs.
What’s your selection?