By Zaheer Mohamed
Demerara are ahead on the points table after the second round of the Guyana Cricket Board Hand-in-Hand Inter County U19 three-day tournament was rained out last weekend without a ball being bowled.
Demerara were set to play the GCB select U17 XI at Everest and Berbice were scheduled to take on Essequibo at Eve Leary, but steady rain fall in the city left puddles of water on both venues.
Demerara have so far accumulated 19.2 points followed by Berbice on 16.7, the Select GCB U17 team 7.1 and Essequibo on 4.2.
The third and final round is set to commence today at both venues and the selectors and players alike will be hoping for three full days of cricket since the WICB regional age group tournaments are nearby.
Following the completion of this tournament, the selectors will name the final touring party for the U17 tournament set for Trinidad in early July.
Guyana was easily the best team in last year’s tournament and played unbeaten throughout, but their final game against Trinidad and Tobago was called off due to rain hence the Guyanese had to settle for the runner up spot.
Guyana failed to defend their three-day crown but retained the 50-over title in the U19 tournament.
The U17 title is the only one that has eluded Guyana at the age group level; nevertheless they definitely have the fire power to win the competition this year.
The U17s participation in the U19 inter county tournament will give the selectors a closer look at the players in the pool so they have a better opportunity to put together the best combination.
While there are lots of talented players in the squad, their performance has been inconsistent so far in the tournament. Opener Alex Algoo has proven to be a match winner, but his partner Sachin Singh, arguably one of the best batsmen in the side, is yet to do his talent justice. Should both of them open the batting? That question should be answered at the end of this competition. Fast bowler Reyaz Khan has been impressive so far and talented all-rounder Dwayne Dick (currently in the Demerara team) should be added to the squad before the start of play today; not to include him in the touring party (U17) will leave a void in the team. Ashmead Nedd should be named captain since he is the most experienced player in the side, while Alphius Bookie, Orlando Jailall and Kevlon Anderson are all capable players.
Although Bhaskar Yadram, Raymond Perez, Ronaldo Alimohamed, Ramnarine Chartura and Keshram Seyhodan have done well so far, the standard of the competition has been below par as compared to previous tournaments.
Therefore other players must improve if they are to ink their names on the selectors list, but first they must be given the opportunity.
Not to use a fast bowler for a longer spell after he bowled three overs, all of which were maidens, is a terrible injustice to his talent, while spinners who contained batsmen are not being given longer spells. Strange!
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