By Zaheer Mohamed
Due to the inclement weather, the Guyana Cricket Board has postponed the third round and the final of the Hand-in-Hand U-19 50-Over Inter-County tournament.
Leaders Demerara were set to take on the select U17 team at Bourda and Essequibo were scheduled to meet Berbice at the Demerara Cricket Club yesterday, but the constant rainfall has left both venues waterlogged. The final between the top two teams was set for Sunday at Bourda, but the GCB will decide on a new date for the continuation of the competition.
Demerara have accumulated 13.4 points, while the select U17 team have 11.3 followed by Essequibo on 10.5 and Berbice on four.
Whenever the weather provides for the re-start, the tournament can already be deemed a success despite a few challenges. The GCB and Hand-in-Hand must be credited for giving the players an opportunity not only to showcase their talent but to prepare for the upcoming regional U17 and U19 tournament. Wales CDC, Enterprise, GCC, DCC and Everest CC the fastest drying ground in the city must be credited in helping the GCB to stage yet another successful competition by affording their facilities.
Guyana have won the U15 and U19 tournaments for two straight years, but yet to win and U17 title. However, with such talented crop of young cricketers, Guyana has what it takes to win its first title at the U17 level, and successfully defend their U15 and U19 crowns.
The National Schools Cricket League was an achievement by the GCB-a number of talents were unearthed thereby giving the selectors a bigger pool to choose from.
West Indies U19 World Cup winner Keemo Paul is definitely one for the future as he has proven previously. He took batting in the competition to another level; singlehandedly winning the second round game for his team with an unbeaten 156 against the U17s. His bowling keeps improving will be very instrumental in Guyana’s campaign in the Regional tournament. Ronaldo Renee who scored a century in the three-day, Ronaldo Ali Mohamed, Sherfene Rutherford, Raymond Perez, Looknauth Chinkoo and Akenie Adams have done well and are capable of defending Guyana’s U19 crown.
The U17 captain Bhaskar Yadram who scored a big century against Berbice is a player any coach dream of having in their line-up. So too is Wicketkeeper Batsman Joshua Persaud who batted with maturity that belie his age. With Ashmead Nedd, Kevin Omroa, Colin Barlow, Joel Fortune, Kevin Sinclair, Kurt Lovell and Alphius Bookie, Guyana has one of its strongest U17 team ever and will definitely be hard to beat. One of the finds from the Schools League is impressive fifteen-year old Essequibo pacer Reyaz Khan who is one of the fastest bowlers in the tournament. He has the ability to develop into a genuine fast-bowler but must be treated accordingly.
While some players have excelled other must acknowledged that talent alone cannot guarantee them success for cricket is played 70% above the shoulders.
Guyana’s chances of repeated success at the age group levels are high, thus the future looks bright.
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