– as Guyana face-off with T&T on Aug 30&31
By Sean Devers
Suriname have been invited to participate in the supporting game of the Guyana/ Trinidad and Tobago T20 clash at the Guyana National Stadium at Providence on August 31.
Guyana will face T&T under lights on August 30 & 31 and sources close to the Guyana Cricket Board (GBC) yesterday confirmed the invitation to Suriname, Guyana’s Eastern Neighbor.
The Dutch speaking South American nation became an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council in 2002. Their international debut came in 2004 at the Americas Affiliates Championship, where they came last in the five team tournament. A big improvement came two years later in the new Division Three of the ICC Americas Championship when they won a four-team tournament also involving Brazil, Chile and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
This qualified them for the Division Two tournament played in Argentina late in 2006, when they came fourth out of five teams, which means that they kept their Division Two place in 2008.
Suriname placed fifth at the 2009 Global Division Seven tournament and was relegated to Division Eight.
Since then persons like Guyanese born Cyril Bonar has been working tirelessly to improve the sport in Suriname and he says he is excited about the invitation to play in front what is expected to be a capacity crowd.
“Guyana is the biggest cricketing nation in South America and has produced so many International stars and they are right next door to us. We have had a few tours to Guyana and Guyanese players participate in our club competitions from time to time. We (SCB) are hoping that we can work with the Guyana Board in a structured manner to assist in the development of the game in Suriname,” Bonar who is the Manager of the National team, said.
“This is a great opportunity for Suriname, which includes several Guyana-born players, to make an impression playing at the Stadium in Guyana before a large crowd,” Bonar noted.
Suriname is tentatively scheduled to oppose a West Demerara unit in the afternoon game before the Guyana/T&T encounter.
The years between 1945 and 1968 are considered the heyday of cricket in Suriname. In those days, the foundations were laid for the construction of the Dr. E. Snellenpark. The opening of this venue took place in 1954. Club teams and selection teams delivered great performances at this time against teams from Guyana and Trinidad.
The years between 1968 and 1972 were a low point for cricket in Paramaribo, however. For years, there were hardly any cricket matches. The field became overgrown with weeds and the Dr. Snellenpark looked like a cattle field.
Under the management of the board, matters were then firmly taken in hand in the early 1970s. Cricket in Paramaribo was in danger of going under again around 1975, however, with the impending independence of the country and the migration back to the Netherlands of many cricketers.
But due the declining political and economic situation in Guyana, more and more Guyanese migrated to Suriname in the 70s and, slowly but surely, started to dominate the sport. Thanks to the Guyanese, there were regular cricket matches once again in this period and there were frequent contests with clubs from Guyana.
Local Guyanese clubs, especially from Berbice and Everest in the City now travel to Suriname to participate in tournaments.
On August 30, the supporting game will be between two other combinations from Guyana and tickets, which cost $1000 to anywhere in the Stadium, are expected to go on sale from Friday at several locations across Guyana.
Tickets for the Party stand (which also cost $1000) will also be sold from Friday and persons who purchase three tickets will get another one free.
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