Three-time defending champions the Guyana Jaguars will fancy their chances against a relatively inexperienced Jamaican Scorpions side when the two franchises meet today in the opening round of Cricket West Indies Regional four – day tournament at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
Scorpions will be banking on the services of Guyanese duo Assad Fudadin (the most experienced player in the side with 89 first-class appearances) and Trevon `Bugsy’ Griffith, for leadership and insight into the local conditions, especially for a unit with players who have little or in some cases no experience at the regional level.
Apart from the 32–year-old Fudadin, only seamer Jason Dawes has played more than 15 first-class matches with Damani Sewel, wicketkeeper Romaine Morris, opener Garth Garvey and left-arm spinner Paul Harrison all inline to make their maiden first-class showing.
The squad, however, possesses two of the region’s more gifted and promising batsmen in 22–year-olds Brandon King and Fabian Allen who have both come through the ranks of regional youth cricket and have both chalked up significant scores at this level. King has two half-centuries and a solitary century, an innings of 194 he recorded against the Leeward Islands last season while Allen has three half-centuries in his brief career.
The defending champions, on the other hand, possess a slightly more experienced side with Skipper Leon Johnson, Rajendra Chandrika and Veerasammy Permaul having all represented the West Indies in the past and should be aiming to start the season off with a bang with the aim of getting their names back in the reckoning.
Others in the mould of Anthony Bramble, Gudakesh Motie and Tagenarine Chanderpaul have all played more than enough first-class cricket and tasted success to be regarded as the “senior guys” in the squad.
It is also critical times for youngsters Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford, Anthony Adams and new boy Akshaya Persaud, who will be keen on making an impression to keep their places in the side, knowing fully well that Guyana will be strengthened in following round with the availability of some of the senior guys.
The match begins at 9:30 hours today.
JAGUARS – Leon Johnson (captain), Anthony Adams, Anthony Bramble, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Rajendra Chandrika, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Veerasammy Permaul, Akshaya Persaud, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd and Bashkar Yadram.
SCORPIONS – Paul Palmer (captain), Fabian Allen, Dennis Bulli, Jason Dawes, Assad Fudadin, Garth Garvey, Derval Green, Trevon Griffith, Paul Harrison, Brandon King, Romaine Morris, Damani Sewell and Keno Wallace