Jamaica and former West Indies U19 captain, Ramaal Lewis, says he is keen on using his stint here in Guyana to further develop his game while also aiming to use the Guyana Cricket Board/Jaguar’s three – day league to impress enough with the aim of adding to his lone first – class match which he played nearly two years ago.
The all-rounder was snapped up by Guyana in this season’s Professional Cricket League (PCL) draft to join Barbadian, Raymond Reifer as Guyana’s overseas players for the 2017 – 2018 regional first-class season, set to begin in October.
Lewis, during his first match in Guyana, bagged 5 – 35, in a fine bowling effort to spin Georgetown to victory over Lower Corentyne.
However he did have modest returns with the bat scoring 8 and 13 on a tough pitch where Christopher Barnwell and Jonathan Foo made significate scores.
“Well, it has to be a learning experience moving forward. I want to play some first-class cricket and I’m here to play first class-cricket,” he said.
“So, it’s just for me to express myself in these franchise games and do my best in the practice sessions,” he told Stabroek Sports in his strong Jamaican lingo after his outing against Lower Corentyne.
Touching on his transition from the bouncier wickets in Jamaica to the lower ones in Guyana, he said: “it’s very challenging but myself and the coaches are coming up with plans to get better on these wickets as time goes by, so I just have to adapt and adapt quickly.”
The 21 – year-old, who captained the West Indies in the 2014 Youth World Cup in Dubai, at the age of 17 and played alongside Guyanese Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Shimron Hetmyer and Gudakesh Motie, expressed his fondness for Guyana’s cricketing culture. He also spoke about the possibility of joining one of the more established regional teams and lauded the lengths at which his current team mates go to make him feel right at home.
“I’ve only been here for a few weeks but I’ve noticed that you guys have a beautiful structure here and a good programme and I’m now understanding why these guys have been doing well over the last three to four years in regional tournaments.
“The guys take training really serious. They want to move forward. They want to develop their game as much as the younger ones coming up want to develop theirs; the senior guys I’m referring to. So, it’s beautiful to be around them, it’s nice to be around them so I’m now focused on adapting and doing so quickly.”
Lewis recounted his childhood days in Westmoreland, Jamaica where he was introduced to the game at age 10. He made special mention of his cousin and current West Indies middle – order batsman, Jermaine Blackwood, who inspires him to go the extra mile in his cricket endeavours.
His mother Charline Ebanks, Deltonio William and Pete Samon all of whom assist financially along with Blackwood, were mentioned as pillars holding him together.
Lewis, to date, has a single first-class cap, playing for Jamaica against Barbados.