Sep 01, 2010 Sports
– Sarwan’s leadership lauded at official team Lunch
By Sean Devers
Let’s get ready to rumble! With a commanding victory against Trinidad and Tobago in their last practice match and preparations going ‘full steam ahead, optimism is high as Guyana get ready to represent the entire region in next month’s Champions League 20/20 cricket tournament in South Africa.
The Guyana team, which won the Caribbean Championships in Trinidad last month to qualify for the September 10-26 tournament in South Africa, were hosted by the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) to an official Lunch at the Princess Hotel.
Veteran Guyanese Cricket Commentator Joseph Reds Pereira gave an inspiring speech while Ansa McAl’s official Beverly Harper, who suggested the function be held during a discussion with GCB Marketing Manager Ramsay Ali and Parliamentarian Neil Kumar during Guyana’s match at the Stadium on Sunday night, described Guyana recent performance as inspirational.
GCB President Chetram Singh disclosed that the two practice matches against T&T were crucial to the team’s preparations and said that a massive home coming will be held when the team returns from South Africa.
Kumar, Guyana’s Director of Sports, also disclosed that the Bharrat Jagdeo led Guyana Government are the official team sponsor and later told Kaieteur News that the team’s name in South Africa could be the Guyana Amazon adventurers or the Guyana Amazon Conquers.
The team was having difficulty finding a sponsor and the Government has come on Board with a $20 Million sponsorship which will assist in purchasing the team’s uniform among other things while Kumar said this is a great opportunity for Guyana’s tourism to be marketed internationally on a massive scale.
“You have kept the Golden Arrow Head flying proudly. The fact that you brought over 15,000 people to the Stadium on both nights when you played Trinidad and Tobago, even after losing the first game, showed the type of support you have from the Guyanese people,” Kumar told the cricketers.
“When I saw the way Roger Harper and Coach Seeram was working with the team during practice sessions at the Stadium and listening to reports of Sarwan’s brilliant leadership encouraged the Government to get involved when a sponsor was being sought,” Kumar added.
He informed that this week the team jingle will be released while plenty of advertisements and promotions will be unveiled for the CLT20 tournament.
Singh said that yesterday was the only free period the team would have due to their hectic preparations resulting in the lunch being planned at very short notice.
“The team will break Camp on Friday and depart Guyana on Monday so this was the only time we could have fitted this in. I am pleased with the preparations and the team spirit looks really high. The victory on Sunday night should also do well for the confidence of the team even though working on their flaws was more important than winning over the weekend,” Singh said.
Beverly Harper, an avid cricket fan and Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) member told the gathering that she has been very disappointed in cricket in the last year or so and added that this team has been an inspiration to her.
“This team’s performance in Barbados and Trinidad and even this weekend inspired me…you guys have been an inspirational for an entire nation. There is nothing more important than representing your county,” Harper stressed.
“Guyana can at times be a divided country but I am sure that those 15 thousand people at the Stadium on Sunday night were not seeing Indo, Afro or Chino Guyanese, they were seeing their Guyana team putting on a wonderful performance and making them so proud,” Harper said.
She said that in addition to the 700,000 people who live in Guyana many more Guyanese who live overseas would be supporting the team.
“Let me tell you what Michael Jordon, who had some success on the Basketball court once said. He said…..great talented individuals win games but a great team wins championships…..and you guys should always remember how important team work is,” Harper said.
The 71-year-old Pereira explained the impact the historic 1950 victory by the West Indies over England at Lords had on Caribbean people living in England and how it allowed them to walk with their heads held high the next day.
“The victory in the first world Cup final in 1975 in England had the same effect on Caribbean people and traffic stopped and businesses were grounded to a halt in those last few overs as the West Indies approached victory. Your success in Port-of-Spain a few weeks ago had that same effect on Guyanese. You have won a lot of friends and fans and the respect of everyone,” Reds said.
“You are the genuine Caribbean Champions and you are being led by the best Captain in the region. If you play to your optimum level and play as a team you can surprise the world. You have the ability go out and show the world how good you are,” Reds added.
The former OECS Sports Coordinator also said that this team’s trip to South Africa and Guyana’s Rugby team’s travels to India for the Commonwealth games should be used by their respective associations and the entire country to market Guyana in a big way which would help to improve the economy of this country.
Manager of the Guyana team Carl Moore said yesterday’s function had further inspired the team. “We want to assure you that this (function) has inspired us even more than the matches this weekend. Sarwan has the knack of getting all of the players together. I don’t know how he does it but he can get them form corners to come together as one and that has been a major reason we have been successful. We have played as a team with everyone, even those who’d not play, all wanting the same thing….victory after victory,” Moore said.
Moore, who was also the Manager when Guyana won the inaugural Stanford 20/20 in 2006, said his team fully understands how important they are to creating national unity.
“When we saw the reaction of the crowd when we lost on Saturday night, it was overwhelming. Some of the guys were even afraid to come out on the ground and we knew we had to win on Sunday. We knew how important that was to the Guyanese people even though it was just a practice match,” Moore revealed.
Moore said that he was even threatened by people on Sunday morning and after a long team meeting and soul searching the aim was to win for the people in the team’s last match before they left for South Africa.
Guyana face Royal Challengers Bangalore in their opening game on September 12.
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