By Sean Devers
At 18, Demerara under-15 and U-17 batsman Clearance Baird is piling up the experience of his English season and enjoying every minute of it as he flies the Malteenoes flag in the United Kingdom.
Baird, who plays for Malteenoes in Guyana’s division one cricket, is having a successful debut season playing in the Division 2 cricket in Kent cricket league having been signed to Gore Court Cricket Club in Kent.
In 12 games for the club since he arrived there on May 16, Baird has scored three half centuries and registered his maiden century two weeks ago, stoking a magnificently 142. His 508 runs at an Ave of 46.18 suggests consistency and with six more games left until he returns to Guyana in September, the former QC student could end the season with close to 1,000 runs from 18 matches.
His Malteenoes Captain Kellon Carmichael, who is playing division 2 in the Sussex league, should be very pleased that his young charge has justified his recommendation.
“I got to play in England because Kellon saw my talent and asked if I wanted to come with him and play a season here,” explained Baird who was exposed, seeing players from all over the world play when he travelled with the QC team for the 2016 Sir Garfield Sobers International School’s tournament in Barbados.
He got involved in cricket after representing QC in the local U-15 Brain Street tournament but focusing on his academics might played a part in him never playing for his Country at youth level.
“I have played cricket in Guyana through my youth years playing inter county at U-15 and U-17 levels but never made the further step to represent Guyana since I have been attending Queens College which could be challenging to manage both cricket and academics, but since I have finished school in 2016 I have now turned my full attention to cricket trying to make a name for myself on the local circuit,” the level headed teenager informed.
He says when he returns home he is looking for plenty of runs for Malteenoes to force his way into one of GCB one day Franchises.
The talented youngster says the Standard of Division 2 cricket is very high since many players from around the world have contracts to play in the league. “It’s higher than the Franchise league back home.”
“My biggest challenge at first was adapting to the English weather which is quite different from home,” said Baird, whose favourite cricketer is Rohit Sharma.
According to Baird, he found the conditions in England is a bit difficult during the first couple of months because the ball does a bit extra in the air and off the pitch and English people play a different style off cricket.
Not surprisingly Blair prefers to play limited overs cricket coming from a generation which missed out on seeing West Indies dominating Test matches in the 1980s, youngsters like Baird could easily view five-day cricket as boring.
“The main people who have helped me with my cricket are Kellon Carmichael and Malteenoes Coach Quasen Nedd who coached me at Queens College.
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