As the Guyana Jaguars embark on their quest for a record-levelling fifth consecutive Cricket West Indies Regional Four-Day title, consistency and continued domination are the key focus points for the defending champions.
The Jaguars, who will be taking on Windward Islands Volcanoes at the Darren Sammy Stadium today from 2 pm in the tournament’s opener have set their bar high.
According to Assistant Coach and Manager, Rayon Griffith, “…the benchmark, we always want to set our bar very high, we want to dominate the competition, it is a format which we have been playing well and we have been dominating for a couple of years now but we want to continue dominating, we want to be consistent and that is going to be the most important thing, being consistent in every department.”
However, the reigning champions are without some key players in the form of Kemo Paul, Devendra Bishoo, Chandrapaul Hemraj and Shimron Hetymer who are deployed on West Indies duty. However, this is not seen as a big dent to the side in the eyes of Griffith.
“We are always missing a couple of players every year at the starting of this competition. The absence of senior players is not really going to be a dent in our side because we have enough quality players who are still here, we have nine players who played in the previous four years in the winning achievement … so the absence isn’t going to be that much”
Griffith was proud of the number of players churned out by Guyana for the West Indies side noting that “what is important is the senior players have moved on to West Indies and that is very good for our franchise so at least we are doing something with our franchise and it shows that our set up at home is helping to feed players into the West Indies side.”
The Assistant coach is happy with the makeup of the team that features nine players with experience at this level as well as some shining prospects.
“The makeup of the team is a pretty good makeup, I think we have enough bowlers in the side, we have four men who can bowl seam and at the top of the order with Tage [Tagenarine Chanderpaul] and Griff [Trevon Griffith]… we do have a strong middle order with Vishaul Singh, [Leon] Johnson, [Anthony] Bramble , [Christopher] Barnwell who is an allrounder in this team so I am very happy with this team not forgetting the experience of [Veerasammy] Permaul and young [Gudakesh] Motie who have been doing pretty well for Guyana over the years, Akshaya Persaud also who didn’t have much to do in the previous years but he has been around and had a good run in the franchise league at home.” Griffith said. As they head into their showdown, Griffith stated that the team is in good spirits despite not having as much practice as they would have been comfortable with.
“The mood in the camp has started at home in the preparation, we always have that kind of unity and enjoyment among themselves, coming here we only had one practice session which the rain hampered and we didn’t have much practice but we should still be up and running come game day”, the Manager stated.
The Jaguars team is packed with players who have featured as leaders across various teams and will once again be led by West Indies test player, Johnson who scored a century in the warm up match captaining and Singh as his deputy. Anthony Bramble has captained West Indies B as well as former West Indies A captain, Permaul.
Guyana Jaguars Squad: Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Trevon Griffith, Leon Johnson (Captain), Vishaul Singh (Vice-Captain), Anthony Bramble, Tevin Imlach, Akshaya Persaud, Christopher Barnwell, Romario Shepherd, Gudakesh Motie, Veerasammy Permaul, Keon Joseph, Clinton Pestano