Imlach still eager for first-class opportunity

Tevin Imlach acknowledges his teammates after reaching the century mark during last season’s GCB/Jaguars 3-Day League (Royston Alkins photo) 

Former West Indies Under-19 World Cup champion Tevin Imlach, remains passionate about getting an opportunity to play at the first-class level.

It has been two years since the wicket-keeper/batsman returned from Bangladesh, after being a member of West Indies’ historic run to capture the ICC showpiece youth event.

In those two years a number of players from that winning World Cup unit have already gone on to play first-class and international cricket, most notably Skipper and fellow Guyanese, Shimron Hetmyer and Leeward Islands speedster, Alzarri Joseph, who have since vaulted their way into the senior West Indies set-up.

Keemo Paul, who is not very far away from the maroon cap, Keacy Carty (Leeward Islands), Jyd Goolie (Trinidad and Tobago), Chemark Holder (Barbados), Shamar Springer (Barbados), Gidron Pope (Windward Islands) and Odean Smith (Jamaica), have all gone on to earn first class caps for their territories, accentuating the pedigree of that squad.

“Yeah, of course, the main objective is to play for the West Indies at the highest level. First-class cricket is the next step, and I’m looking forward to it,” Imlach recently told Stabroek Sport, when asked if the hunger remains to play at the highest level.

When questioned if the wait is frustrating, given the fact that most of his World Cup colleagues have already been given opportunities, Imlach replied, “At the end of the day it’s a process, and I understand that. I have to go through that process and once I keep doing what I’m doing, scoring runs and improving my game, I’ll eventually get there.

“For me, my biggest concern is remaining consistent, which I’ve been working on. Right now, it’s just to get that mental mindset to score runs on a consistent basis. You don’t want to be up and down. I want to be consistent and move forward.”

The right-hander has been doing all he can to keep his name in the reckoning. He scored two centuries and one fifty, whilst tallying 379 runs, at an average of 42, in last year’s edition of the Guyana Cricket Board/Jaguars Three-Day League. His glovework, which had some question marks, have shown signs of improvement. As those numbers suggest, he is quite possibly Guyana’s automatic second choice wicketkeeper, with fellow Demerara Cricket Club teammate, Kemol Savory, right on his heels.

Imlach, perhaps fancied his chances of getting an opportunity at the back end of the Jaguars’ last championship run, after the South Americans had taken their fourth consecutive title with two games to spare.

However, the selectors opted to give the incumbent, Anthony Bramble the opportunity to further press for West Indian selection, with Shane Dowrich having a torrid time. Bramble finished the season with 613 runs, including a career-defining 193, to accompany his 45 dismissals behind the stumps.

The 21 year old Imlach, nonetheless, expressed confidence in making the Guyana side purely as a batsman, if the opportunity to keep wicket does not present itself.

“At the end of the day, you got to be ready when opportunities present themselves. Before keeping, I was mainly a batsman and batting is my joy, that’s what I enjoy, and definitely, it’s something I’m looking at. And like I said, once I improve on my consistency, I’ll be a threat,” Imlach confidently told Stabroek Sport.

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