Mark Harper is Guyana’s new head coach
By Sean Devers
Former Guyana middle order batsman Mark Harper is Guyana’s new National head Coach, replacing Ravindra Seeram after another failure in the just concluded Caribbean T20 tournament in which Guyana failed for the first time in the history of Regional T20 cricket to qualify for the semifinals.
The 53-year-old Harper, a former Bermuda National Coach, is the elder brother of former West Indies Coach Roger Harper and played the last of his 42 First-Class and 13 Regional Limited overs matches in 1991.
Harper, a Georgetown and Demerara selector, averaged 30.50 and scored two centuries and 8 fifties in his 30 First-Class for Guyana. He also scored 2 tons and 3 half-centuries for Demerara in 11 First-Class matches between 1974 and 1991 and played in the Lancashire Leagues in England up to 1994.
Harper, a Level 2 Coach, first played for Guyana at the under-19 level against Jamaica in Barbados as a 13-year-old off-spinner in 1972 and represented the West Indies under-19 team in a single youth ‘Test’ in 1976.
Because of his fierce hitting and the fact that he was bespectacled later in his career, Harper was often referred to as the right-handed Clive Lloyd, his DCC team mate. Harper’s only appearance for a West Indies senior side was in 1993 when he made 18 not out as the Caribbean side beat Hampshire by 16 runs in England.
Guyana first appointed an official Coach for a national team at any level in 1988 when the late William Jeffery was appointed for that year’s Regional youth tournament in Barbados and Seeram, whose only success since he was appointed to replace Albert Smith in the middle of the 2009 season, was in last year’s Caribbean T20 competition and he will be rated as one of this country’s most tactically inefficient Coaches.
After struggling tactically in last year’s Champions League in South Africa, the 2010 Regional 50-over Tournament in Jamaica and the 2011 Caribbean T20 competition, it was widely expected that Seeram, only a Level 1 Coach, would have been removed from the position.
Appointed Coach because of his reputation as a former middle-order batsmen at a time when the batsmen were not doing well, Seeram’s charges produced Guyana’s worst ever totals in 50-over and T20 cricket in back-to-back tournaments when they made 100 against Barbados in Jamaica last November and 65 against Jamaica in the T20 competition this month in Antigua.
The 49-year-old Seeram scored 2 centuries and 11 fifties and averaged 35.00 from 31 First-Class games for Guyana and played 2 youth Tests for the West Indies in 1980.
Carl Moore has been retained as Manager of the team and Harper’s first assignment will be the 2011 Regional 4-day competition which starts on February 4 with Guyana playing Jamaica in Jamaica. Guyana play 3 of their preliminary games overseas. They face the Windwards in St Vincent and CCC in Barbados.
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