Players welcome Regional Franchise cricket
By Sean Devers
Guyana Jaguars Head Coach 32-year-old former National fast bowler Esuan Crandon
expressed satisfaction with the first day of preparations for the inaugural four-day Regional First-Class Franchises cricket tournament, which starts on November 14.
The first session, which included a ‘Beep’ test to access the players’ fitness level, was held yesterday at the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) Bourda and Crandon, who represented Guyana in 38 First-Class matches between 2000 and 2011, informed that the players seemed better prepared physically than they were for the last Regional tournament.
“The players are at a much higher fitness level than they were the last time which means they have been doing work on their own before the camp began,” Crandon said.
Berbician Crandon explained that yesterday the ‘Beep’ tests, sprints and shuttle runs were executed, while today a 4k 10-lap (around Bourda) run will be held to access the endurance of the players before they break for a two-day rest and return to camp on October 24.
“There is still some work to be done by a few of players but I am confident that as the camp progress they will get better. Everyone is fitter than they were earlier this year when we were preparing for the last Regional competition,” Crandon said.
Crandon feels this team will be a lot fitter and the players should suffer fewer injuries than in the last First-Class and Super50 tournaments which contributed to Guyana’s worst in recent time at the Regional level.
“Fitness and attitude are important areas in the criterion for selection since these players are will now be getting a monthly salary to focus exclusively on cricket. We have a large pool of players to pick from but we must remember each player is different and will peak not all peak at the same time. But I am pleased that this time most of the guys came into the camp well prepared,” said Crandon, who travelled with Chairman of the Guyana selectors Rayon Griffith when they went to Barbados to pick Guyana’s team from the Franchise draft.
Forty-year-old Shiv Chanderpaul, who is 267 runs short of Brian Lara’s West Indies record for most Test runs, attended yesterday’s training and looked as fit as any of his much younger counterparts and now could be available along with Leon Johnson, for at least two of home games scheduled for Providence now that the India series has been cancelled.
South African Invitation XI play the West Indian in a two-day fixture from December 10 on their tour opener in South Africa before the first Test begins on December 17.
The Sri Lanka ‘A’ team series against West Indies ‘A’ is scheduled to end on November 5 which means that Assad Fudadin, Devendra Bishoo and Veerasammy Permaul could all play in at least two of the first three matches of the Regional tournament even if they are selected for the South Africa series.
Crandon informed that Guyana’s lone overseas player, Barbadian Raymond Reifer is scheduled to arrive in Guyana month end and will participate in his Beep test when he arrives. The Guyana Head Coach said he was not sure when Johnson will return from India.
Shiv Chanderpaul reached 10.1 in his Beep test, while West Berbice pacer Raun Johnson recorded 13.1. Trevon Griffith was the only player to finish under five seconds in the 40 meter sprint yesterday.
Meanwhile, several players in the Guyana Franchise said they welcomed the franchise tournament since it would afford the players not in the West Indies team an opportunity to still earn a decent living from playing cricket.
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