By Sean Devers
National Cricket Captain Ramnaresh Sarwan and Guyana T20 specialist Lennox Cush have been named in a strong United Chargers team to participate in the US Open T20 tournament from December 3-5 in Fort Lauderdale Florida.
The United Chargers is a franchise cricket team in New York which won the inaugural 2009 New York Premier League cricket tournament, a competition that was sponsored by business men Dave Narine, Danny Sawh and Dr Stanley Sohan.
The North American side also participated last year’s in the Guyana Cricket Board T20 Festival at the Guyana National Stadium. The competition included the National teams of Jamaica, Guyana and Barbados.
Led by 31-year-old former Guyana under-19 all-rounder Steve Massiah the Chargers, a professional organization that consists of the top USA cricketers, defeated Barbados in the GCB competition.
“The Chargers have been invited to participate in the competition which is sponsored by Cricket Council USA. Sixteen teams from different states and including a couple foreign teams will be vying for the grand prize of $25,000 dollars,” United Chargers official Dave Narine informed Kaieteur Sport from New York.
Massiah, who played his two ODIs in England in the 2004 Champions Trophy tournament which was won by the West Indies, is the other player in the Chargers team with ODI experience.
The 30-year-old Sarwan, shockingly omitted from the West Indies touring party for their tour to Sri Lanka next month by the Clyde Butts led West Indies selection committee, should lead Demerara in the GCB four-team senior four-day cricket competition which is expected start on November 11.
The stylish right-hander who averages above 40 at the Test, ODIs and First-Class levels, will leave for the USA after the final round of the GCB tournament which should conclude on November 29. The GCB competition includes a Rest X1 along with the three county teams; Demerara, Berbice and Essequibo.
USA National opening batsman Cush, who was a member of the Guyana T20 Champions League side in South Africa after taking a hat-trick to help Guyana win the inaugural Caribbean T20 tournament, is also in the Chargers side which includes players from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Pakistan and India.
Former Guyana Wicketkeeper 33-year-old Vishal Nagamootoo, who is not yet eligible to represent the USA, is rated as the best Keeper in the United States and his batting is also a key component to the Chargers line-up.
Nagamootoo, the younger brother of former West Indies leg-spinner Mahendra Nagamootoo and nephew of ex-West Indies Captain Alvin Kallicharran, has a century, two fifties and 116 dismissals from the 61 First-Class matches he played between 1996 and 2005.
The Chargers team also includes Glen Hall, Carl Wright, Rashard Marshall, David Mohamed, Tim Allen, Sushil Nandkhari, Richie Seiuchan and Mohamud Ghous while the Coach is Sew Shivnarine, the former Guyana, West Indies and USA batsman.
Sarwan is scheduled to depart for Florida on December 1 and says despite the disappointment of being ignored for the Sri Lanka tour he remains committed to Guyana and West Indies cricket.
“I will be playing in the four-day competition in Guyana and I hope to discuss some of my ideas for the improvement of cricket in Guyana with GCB officials.” Sarwan said.
The WICB has said that his fitness and not his batting ability was the reason for his Central Contract snub and his omission from the team to Sri Lanka. The former Test Skipper, who batted with no apparent discomfort for Guyana during his half centuries in South Africa last month and in Jamaica, said he has been working on his fitness and was not sure why he was not selected.
The ODI series in Sri Lanka starts on December 9 and it is unclear if Sarwan, who is expected to leave the USA on December 6, will be asked to do a ‘fitness test’ before the One-Day team is picked.
The WICB claims that his fitness is still an issue although he has played in 2 Regional tournaments and another in South Africa since his return from injury.
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