Sep 18, 2010 Sports
By Sean Devers in South Africa
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After an embarrassing display in their first match against Royal Bangalore Challengers in the Champions League T20 cricket tournament here in South Africa, Guyana produced an improved showing against the Mumbai Indian but after two matches they are still pointless.
As the South Americans prepare for their next match tomorrow, there are several areas of concern, not least among them the questionable tactics employed by Guyana Coach Ravindra Seeram.
With 72 needed to win from the last 5 overs in their last match, Royston Crandon, was surprisingly sent in ahead of Jonathon Foo who has developed a reputation for his clean hitting in the Caribbean Championships which Guyana won to qualify for this trip.
Skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan who batted fluently for his 38-ball 46 with 6 fours and a six told Kaieteur Sport last night that he was very surprised when he was dismissed in the 16th over and saw Royston Crandon coming out since the plan was to have Foo in to try and see what he could do in the last 5 overs.
“Yeah I was surprised that the Coach decided to hold back Foo and there was not much he could have done in just two overs when he finally got his chance. We have four boundary runners (the players not in the final X1) not once was any message or anything like than sent to me while I was batting. Royston was already on the field by the time I approached the boundary and nothing could have been done at that stage,” Sarwan said.
The openers again put pressure on the others with their inability to get the ball away and the Guyana Captain said that he is depending on his senior players’ contribution on and off the field.
“I am depending on the senior guys and it has been a bit disappointing so far. We came here to try our best to win as much games as possible and now that we are virtually out of the race for the semi-finals if changes have to be made they will be made in the interest of us trying to win,” the Skipper said.
“Look I can’t fault the younger guys, they are putting in their lot and working hard but everyone has got to pull their weight at this level. We played (Paul) Wintz because we felt the conditions would have suited the seamers and somebody had to be left out and we decided to rest one of the spinners and that’s why (Lennox) Cush did not play,” Sarwan explained.
Without going into details or calling names the Guyana Captain said that he is a bit disappointed with the work ethic, attitude and performance of some of the senior guys whom he is banking on for success.
Seeram, appointed National Coach in the middle of the 2009 First-Class season to replace Albert Smith, told Kaieteur News that it was a deliberate plan for the openers (Sewnarine Chattergoon and Travis Dowlin) to take their time in the first four overs to ensure that wickets were not lost against the new ball.
Dowlin (7 from 18 balls) and Chattergoon (1 from 6) wasted 4 overs between them while scoring 8 runs and like he has done at the Regional Level, Seeram continues to look a very reactive Coach who seems not as involved during matches as most of the other coaches.
Although Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) President Chetram Singh had misinformed the nation that the former First-Class batsman was a level 2 Coach when his shock appointment was made last year, Seeram is still just a Level 1 Coach and seems to be struggling to demand total respect from his charges someone like Roger Harper would have gotten.
Harper, a former Guyana Captain and West Indies Test off-spinner is a level 3 coach who coached the West Indies, Kenya and the Stanford Super Stars and is well respected by most in the cricket fraternity. Harper, now President of the Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) was involved in the encampment period of Guyana’s preparations for this competition and many feel he should have been here.
“I don’t think anyone can question his (Harper) experience and ability. I think he would have made a difference here but we have to work with what we have. I have no idea why he is not here and I don’t want to comment on that. We are here to try to play our best for our country and that was a GCB decision. My focus is on trying the get the best out of everyone here and trying to win our next two matches,” Sarwan explained.
President of the GCB Chetram Singh, one of three GCB officials here as members of the Guyana 23-man squad, said that Harper was never a consideration for this trip.
“When we had to submit the names of the 15 players, 5 support staff and three officials by August 1st or 2nd, Harper’s name never came up and he was included in the training camp long after the names were officially submitted,” Singh, the GCB Head since 1991, explained
Singh insists that Seeram is well equipped to do the job adding that this is a learning experience for the players.
“This level is way above what we have in the West Indies and these are all big Champion teams from around the world. I think we improved in the last match but (Kieron) Pollard single handedly snatched the match from us with his 72 from 30 balls,” Singh said
The GCB official noted that apart from the West Indies players none of the others would have played in South Africans conditions before and feels this will be of tremendous benefit to them when they return to the regional competitions.
Some of the other teams including RCB who beat Guyana in their opening match, played practice matches here before the competition began to get adjusted to the condition but Singh said that the GCB was given a date to be here and were not aware that they could have come earlier and play practice games.
“Those teams that came early are well financed and can afford to do so. We were given a date to arrive and that’s what we did. We had our practice matches against Trinidad (and Tobago) and were hoping to play in Barbados but that did not happen because a full strength Barbados team was not available. I am sure the guys will be better players after this experience,” Singh opined.
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