Guyanese face T&T in historic day/night match in Antigua
By Sean Devers
West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul has been replaced by fellow left-hander Vishal Singh in Guyana’s 13-man squad for their historic Day/Night Regional 4-Day First-Class cricket match against Trinidad and Tobago in Antigua from January 15.
The 35-year-old Chanderpaul, the 2nd highest West Indies Test run-scorer with 8,669 runs from 123 Tests including 21 tons, had a modest Regional One-Day series and failed to fire in Australia before a finger injury ruled him out of the final Test.
Chanderpaul, who played the first of his 248 First-Class matches against the Leewards at Bourda in 1992, last made himself unavailable for a major Regional tournament at the last moment when he was replaced by Orin Forde in the 2006 Guyana team which won the inaugural Stanford 20/20 competition and his unavailability after being named in the 13-man touring party is not totally surprising.
With 51 First-Class hundreds and an average of 53.85, Chanderpaul’s experience and ability would have been an asset as Guyana look to enter the history books of regional cricket by wining the first ever First-Class game to be played under lights and with pink balls in the Caribbean.
It is understood that Chanderpaul’s finger injury required 4 weeks rest and that he would have been fit enough to play by January 15. He informed the selectors that the wrong treatment was done on his swollen finger and his injured ligament has not yet fully healed.
Some feel that the prolific batsman who averages 48.70 in Tests is not fully focused on playing for Guyana at a time when he is dealing with some important personal issues. He is expected to attend to a legal matter in Guyana later this month.
Even with the presence of Skipper and Guyana’s Cricketer of the Year 2009 Ramnaresh Sarwan and his fellow Test colleagues Narsingh Deonarine and Travis Dowlin in the batting order, Chanderpaul’s stability in the middle order for Guyana will be missed in Antigua against the defending regional One-Day champions.
The pint-size Singh, who played a solitary First-Class match last April against Barbados at Providence when he made 4 and 34, has been in tremendous form after being shockingly left out of the Demerara team and Chanderpaul’s unavailability gives the 20-year-old Singh, who bowls right-arm leg-spin, the opportunity to join the touring party which is being Managed by Carl Moore and Coached by former Guyana batsman Ravindra Seeram.
Guyana face defending champions Jamaica at Foursquare Park in St Philip in their 2nd match before facing CCC at the UWI ground as they play back-to-back games in Barbados before returning home to face Barbados at Albion.
The Guyana team had a practice session with the bowling machine on the pitch at Bourda yesterday after rain prevented play on the scheduled opening day of their 3-Day practice match. Chanderpaul was not present at yesterday’s practice session.
Seeram informed that the game will start today weather permitting while Moore said that no practice match under lights has been organized for the team while he could not say when (if at all) the pink balls will arrive in Guyana for his team (which has drawn the first round bye) to practice with before their opening game.
This year’s shortened tournament commence on Friday with 3 first round games in Jamaica with the hosts facing Windward Islands at Chedwin Park, Trinidad and Tobago playing Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) at Jarrett Park and Barbados battling Leeward Islands at Kensington Park. Guyana depart for Antigua on January 12.
The teams for today’s practice game read: (Guyana Team) Ramnaresh Sarwan (Captain), Sewnarine Chattergoon (V/Capt), Travis Dowlin, Narsingh Deonarine, Assad Fudadin, Royston Crandon, Derwin Christian, Davindra Bishoo, Esuan Crandon, Veerasammy Permaul, Brandon Bess, Trevor Benn, Vishal Singh.
(Invitational (XI) Team)
Rajendra Chandrika, Shemroy Barrington, Christopher Barnwell, Leon Johnson, Wasim Haslim, Gajanand Singh, Steven Jacobs, Deon Ferrier, Krishna Arjune, Anthony Bramble, Totaram Bishun, Trevon Garraway, Steven Latcha, Keyron Fraser.
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