Oct 13, 2009 Sports
By Sean Devers
Despite not being selected by Berbice for the Inter-County tournament which was used to select the Guyana squad for this year’s Regional One-Day competition in Guyana on October 28, former Test leg-spinner Mahendra Nagamootoo was picked in a 25-man training squad on Sunday.
The squad begins training sessions at Bourda today and the teams for the President’s Cup 50-over series and the Guyana Cricket Board Fund raising T/20 Cricket Festival on October 24 & 25 at Providence will be named next week.
It is understood that the 34-year-old Nagamootoo has already been named in the USA squad to participate along with host Guyana, Barbados and Jamaica in the 20/20 tournament and his inclusion in the Guyana training squad should see his return to regional cricket after being left out of the Guyana First-Class team for the last two years.
At a time when Guyana’s cricket is in the doldrums, Nagamootoo’s experience and ability is needed for the 50-overs competition.
Now that he has been named in the training squad, his place in the final 14 should be automatic.
One would assume that being a former Test player who has given tremendous service to Guyana’s cricket since 1992 when he made his regional under-19 debut against Trinidad and Tobago at Bourda, Nagamootoo would not have been included in the 25 if he was not considered a certainty for the 14.
Nagamootoo, who took 3-132 from 47 overs against India in his 5th Test in 2002 which the West Indies lost by an innings, surprisingly never played another Test match even though the next series was against the weak Bangladesh side. He took 18 wickets from 24 ODIs and holds the record for the most wickets (331 from 84 matches) in regional First-Class cricket since his debut in 1995. He has also scored 5 half-centuries for Guyana at the First-Class level.Technically, the right-bowler who bats left-handed would have also been eligible for Demerara since he is now living in that county and played in the National first division competition for a West Demerara side.
Nagamootoo played in last year’s One-Day competition and his presence in the training camp could also help Davendra Bishoo, who replaced him in the four-day team and who should not be rushed into One-Day cricket if Nagamootoo is fit and available.
The versatile cricketer has played 72 matches for Guyana at the Regional One-Day level and has 107 wickets with 5-23 being his best effort.
Last year, Nagamootoo took 4 wickets for 111 runs from 216 balls at an average of 27.4 from 4 matches.
The cricketer from Whim Village in Corentyne, Berbice is also a capable batsman who has not done justice to his batting talent although he has a solitary First-Class ton for the West Indies against Somerset and a Test fifty against Australia.
Nagamootoo is one of eight players in the Guyana training squad who represented the West Indies at the senior level.
The others are Ramnaresh Sarwan (tipped to be the Captain), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (who missed Saturday’s Inter-County final for personal reasons), Narsingh Deonarine, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Travis Dowlin, Royston Crandon, Leon Johnson and Esuan Crandon, the elder brother of Royston who played for the West Indies in the last Sixes competition in Hong Kong.
The national selectors have also included Guyana players Deon Ferrier and Derwin Christian who were not selected by the Demerara selectors although both players have shown good form at the club level this year.
Since 2000, when the Windwards won the last of their 2 title Regional One-Day titles, last year was the first time Guyana failed to qualify for the semi-finals. Guyana aim for their 10th title and first since they beat Barbados at Bourda in the 2005 Final.
The Guyana 25-man training squad:- Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Travis Dowlin, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Christopher Barnwell, Narsingh Deonarine, Richard Ramdeen, Royston Crandon, Shemroy Barrington, Gajanand Singh, Assad Fudadin, Steven Jacobs, Delon Heyliger, Delbert Hicks, Esuan Crandon, Veerasammy Permaul, Davendra Bishoo, Brandon Bess, Trevon Garraway, Sauid Drepaul, Mahendra Nagamootoo, Jonathan Foo, Leon Johnson, Derwin Christian, Dion Ferrier.
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