Johnson eyes twin objectives for Independence Cup

- keen on winning the tournament and at the same time blooding new players

It is no secret that Guyana has been less than impressive in the shorter format of game over the last three or four seasons.

However, during this same period, they have been dominating ‘white clothes cricket’ capturing three consecutive Regional four–day titles under the leadership of skipper, Leon Johnson.

In an effort to remedy the poor ‘white ball showing’ come this season, the national selectors have selected a ‘horses for courses squad’ for the upcoming Antigua and Barbuda Independence Cup which bowls off on October 6.

During a recent interview with Stabroek Sport, Johnson acknowledged Guyana’s white ball problems but remained optimistic about what lies ahead.

Leon Johnson

“We haven’t been doing well in the 50 overs format in the last three or four seasons and I think it’s time that we obviously start blooding new players and this is an opportunity with the Regional Super50 around the corner for guys to start putting their hands up,” Johnson disclosed.

Some of the players who should be looking to ‘put their hands up’ include Robin Bacchus, Ricardo Adams, Sherfane Rutherford and Chandrapaul Hemraj.

They are all capable of white ball brilliance which Guyana needs to move forward.

Adding to Guyana’s silverware in the shorter format of the sport will not only require big hitting, slower balls and yorkers, but it will also necessitate on field leadership and the man entrusted to do so is Johnson, which is no surprise.

Johnson also believes that the upcoming tournament will see the guys not only pushing to win but also observing what some of the newer faces in the squad can produce.

When asked whether winning the Cup or trying new combinations is more important, Johnson said: “I think both are important.”

He added, “You obviously go into any competition looking to win but I think it’s also important that some of the guys who wouldn’t have played cricket for Guyana before or haven’t played in a while, get the opportunity [to show what they can do].”

Johnson, commenting on the inclusion of Ronsford Beaton and Adams, for whom he had a front row seat to witness his destructive century against his Georgetown led side at the weekend said: “Adams has been doing well in local cricket recently. He has done well for his club and county over the period of time and he’s seen merit to his selection.

“Beaton is obviously coming in with his experience of playing a lot of CPL cricket and I think he has played in Bangladesh as well, which brings experience to the side,” the Skipper said.

The squad, under the watchful eyes of Coach Esaun Crandon and Rayon Griffith is currently preparing for the October 6th tournament by fine-tuning their skills and getting their fitness up to what’s required. They will depart Guyana shortly.


Squad: Robin Bacchus, Gajanand Singh, Leon Johnson, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Jonathan Foo, Anthony Bramble,  Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford, Veerasammy Permaul, Steven Jacobs, Ronsford Beaton, Romario Shepherd,  Ricardo Adams,  Christopher Barnwell and Ramaal Lewis.





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