Mar 08, 2016 Sports
Reference is made to Sean Devers article in the Kaieteurnews paper dated 2016-03-05 under the caption ‘Chanderpaul, Haniff hit unbeaten fifties’. In the said article, he referred to former national opening batsman Azeemul Haniff as being just one of two players with ‘inter-county’ 50 overs double centuries. He further wrote that Haniff made his feat against Essequibo at Bourda whilst playing for Demerara.
While Devers was correct to have acknowledged that Haniff made a double century in a 50 overs match; it was certainly not against Essequibo, neither did he made it whilst playing for Demerara in an inter-county match. Haniff’s double century was instead made against Gunners, a club from Essequibo whilst playing for Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) of Demerara in a national inter-club cricket competition where both clubs had qualified from their respective counties.
Historically, there were several senior national inter-club competitions involving the three counties including Bristol, S.N.Singh and Shapoorgi-Palongie among others. It was in one of those competitions though, that the two clubs met, whereby GCC had amassed over 400 runs in their 50 overs, including Haniff’s double century. I recall also that a club from the Pomeroon had also qualified in another national inter-club competition and again it was against GCC. Pomeroon were dismissed below a hundred batting first. There after the Authorities felt that individual clubs emanating from Essequibo were not good enough to compete against the more accomplished clubs from both Demerara and Berbice following their poor results at the national level. As a consequence, the county of Essequibo was allowed to play as Area Committees. The Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB) has eight Area Committees; hence they played as a unit (each committee is strategically located and comprises of several clubs) instead of individual clubs. Ironically however, this decision was short lived, since North Essequibo as one of the Area Committees began to dominate the national competitions and in the process was even voted the’ club’ of the year by the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) during their rein.
Vigorous challenges were then subsequently done, questioning the legality of the county of Essequibo playing as Committees whereas the other counties were playing as clubs with the claim being that it was in violation against the competition rules. North Essequibo at the time was a formidable force and included the likes of Trenton Peters, Berchmore Reid, Jaimini Singh, Rovendra Mandolall, Bentley Bishop, Orin Belfield, Ramcharran Singh, Raj Sankar and Ramesh Narine, all of whom were seasoned inter-county players. Incidentally, not long after national inter-club competitions were abandoned.
Notwithstanding however and in reference to Devers article, which contains some inaccuracies, national opener Kevin Boodie remains the first and only player to have achieved the distinguished feat of hitting a 50 overs inter-county double century, whilst representing Essequibo.
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