Sixteen-year-old Sachin Singh is optimistic about Guyana’s chances of winning the Cricket West Indies Regional Under-17 tournament which runs from July 8-18 in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) all-rounder, who will lead the side for the very first time despite being in the team for the past two years, and already captaining the West Indies youth team in a tour to England, is wary of the opposition as well as his importance to the team.
Speaking exclusively to Stabroek Sport, Singh said: “I think that this year we have a great chance of actually going that extra mile and bringing home the title.”
The left-handed opener acknowledged the fact that a lot would be expected of the team but as a skipper and crucial part to the top order, Singh knows his game has to be up to par especially as captain.
“I think it will be a great experience for me knowing that Guyana has never won an Under-17 title and I actually have the opportunity of making history this year for my country.”
With regards to preparation, the all-rounder said: “Leading up to the tournament some preparations have not be done especially due to the inclement weather that has almost the entire grounds in the city waterlogged but I’ve have been working on my fitness level very hard since it has been one of my issues.”
Looking at last year’s performance, Guyana did not live up to expectations, finishing only ahead of Jamaica, however, this year the Demerara all-rounder has set himself a personal target of leading with both bat and ball.
With captaincy experience at the West Indies youth level, Singh said the two years with the team has lifted his game to a higher level.
“Knowing that every time you walk out to bat you have a team to lead… that keeps me a going as a captain because I’m a person that loves new challenges in order to help me be a better all-round person.”
This year, the team in the eyes of the skipper “has a balanced side with a lot of batting depth and we already showed the fight we have in us in reaching the Guyana Cricket Board Under-19 Inter-County 50 overs final and giving a good account of ourselves.”
Singh opined that it is a great idea to have a system whereby the younger national teams get a chance to play more competitively by playing at the Inter-County level above them as was the case with the Under-17s in the Under-19 tournament.
Already playing with some of the guys from the other territories will boost Singh’s chances as captain, having seen their potential and how they go about their game and working out their weakness but Singh pointed out that he is not one that “really likes to plan out a particular person because on any given day someone else could be the one to hurt us. So I’m just taking it game-by-game and hopefully things go our way.”
Singh will have the support of West Demerara all-rounder Andre Seepersaud who will serve as his deputy and provide stability at the top of the order as well as another spin option.
Guyana U-17 squad: Sachin Singh (Captain), Andre Seepersaud (Vice Captain), Seon Glasgow, Navendra Persaud, Yeudistir Persaud (w/keeper), Hrithik Singh, Niran Bissu, Nigel Deodat, Gevon Shultz, Badesh Parsotam, Sheldon Charles, Sylvian Williams, Leon Swamy, Dwain Dick, Nazeer Mohamed (Manager) and Orin Bailey (Coach).
Standby: Ameer Singh, Andrew Samaroo, Trevon Charles and Marvan Prashad.