Says he never got support from some senior players
By Sean Devers
Sixty-year-old Left-arm spinner Jerry Angus represented Guyana at the U-19 level from 1976 to 1979 before making his first class debut for Berbice in the 1980 Jones Cup inter county tournament.
He represented Berbice at U-19 level and was appointed captain in 1977 at Bourda against Demerara and got Andrew Jackman out twice in that match.
Angus Captained Guyana U-19s in 1978 and ’79 when Clayton Lambert, Roger Harper, Garfield Charles, Andrew Jackman, Ray Joseph, Orin Samuels and Rabindranath Seeram played at that level.
“Back then the gap between youth cricket and the national team was enormous, so many good players never made it to the national team after youth cricket. I finished youth cricket in 1979 and played in the Geddes Grant 50 overs in 1980,” said Angus who was Captain at every level he played.
Angus played seven First-Class matches for Berbice and had nine wickets between 1980 and 1989 since before 1990 the Inter-County final enjoyed First-Class status.
Angus captured 21 First-Class wickets from 14 games. Twelve of those wickets, including his best of 3-60, were taken for Guyana in a seven-match career which spanned from 1988 to 1990.
He was the first Guyanese to make his Regional First- Class debut as Captain, and the second person to do so in West Indies regional matches, after Trinidadian Rolph Grant.
His best season was in the 1989 Red Stripe Cup when he played all five games and made his highest score of 33, batting as night watchman and had 10 wickets including bowling Brian Lara in Trinidad, while his best matches figures were 4-132.
Angus took five wickets in three 50-overs games for Guyana. He played two of those games in 1980 in the Geddes Grant/Harrison Line Trophy including the one in which Guyana won its first Regional 50-over title when they beat the Leewards at the ARG in Antigua.
A decade later he returned to Captain Guyana in his last 50-over game in 1988 when Guyana beat Trinidad at Hampton Court.
But his national career, which was in two phases, a decade apart, was filled with controversy and heartbreak.
Angus spoke about growing up in the ‘Country’, his non selection for his First-Class debut in 1981, the lack of support from some senior players when he was appointed Captain on his First-Class debut, the importance of a proper School’s cricket programme and reasons for the inconsistency shown by the West Indies team.
Contrary to what is written on several cricket web sites claiming he was born in Belladrum, West Coast Berbice, Angus was in fact born on May 12, 1960 in Georgetown where he lived for his first nine years and was qualified to represent Demerara.
Angus was the first player to represent Guyana in cricket from West Coast Berbice, while pacer Keon Joseph is the last.
The sixth of eight children (five boys and three girls) Angus resided in Duncan Street Campbellville in Georgetown and attended Campbellville Government School.
Angus developed a love for the game of cricket at an early age when his eldest brother (Ivor Joseph Angus) played cricket for the Campbellville Government School and he took him to watch him play.
When his father died he moved to Berbice where he attended Belladrum Government School and later, the Belladrum Community high school.
“I represented my school in football and cricket and was captain for both sports. I was more recognised for my footballing ability. I represented West Berbice and Belladrum village at football but it was more difficult to acquire the necessary gears for football and cricket was always the number one sport in the village,” said Angus.
“The late sports announcer BL Crombie broke the news of my selection for the youth side in 1976 and words cannot express my feelings that night. I made my debut at Albion and my first wicket was that of the late Malcom Marshall.
As was the case when I was appointed as youth captain, I felt honoured, proud, elated. What greater honour can a man have than to lead his country in battle? Whenever I played for my country I felt like a soldier. Leading the Guyana cricket team onto the field in 1988 and making my debut in the same game was very nerve racking but I always knew I had the ability to lead.
I felt good and I believed that I had the ability to combine individual talents into one winning force. There were, however, some negative aspects that came with the job, however, I don’t wish to elaborate too much on the negative side of things other than to say there were players who weren’t always on board with me being at the helm.
Some of the senior players felt that they should have been appointed as captain. You can only be successful if the team support the captain and we all play as a team. I didn’t think I got the support that was needed from some of the senior players who at the time were having their own struggles with the GCB.
What was sadly overlooked by some individuals was that I did not appoint myself as captain. I think it is self-evident that leadership is a skill, and not because someone is a great player necessarily means that they would make a great leader. To be a great captain one has to put one’s self interest aside and put the interest of the team first. One such selfless leader is Clive Lloyd.
That was indeed a terrible experience. I felt dejected because not only we lost to Jamaica but also because of the lack of support from some senior players. Frankly it was embarrassing. There was the extra pressure of being the captain which did not help when I looked around the dressing room and it was abundantly evident that the support was sparse from some quarters of the team. From the outset it was clearly a no win situation for me. Thankfully I have moved on with time and I hold no grudges,” Angus lamented.
“In the Geddes Grant Harrison Line 50-over in Essequibo, I Captained Guyana to victory against Trinidad, I took 2-30 which included the wicket of Larry Gomes.
With a smile on my face and with the knowledge that we had won a very important game I was eagerly looking forward to playing against Trinidad in the Red Stripe four-day game. Clyde Butts was on tour with the WI team in Pakistan and the selectors weren’t certain if he would arrive on time for the game.
A few hours prior to the game I was still the captain. Unknown to me, news started to circulate that Clyde would be coming for the game and I was promptly removed as captain and dropped from the team.
So here you have a player who was good enough to captain your team, however, with the inclusion of another player he was no longer good enough to be in the team?” asked Angus, who revealed that he suffered his worst experience of his career at the age of 21.
“The national team had returned from Barbados and there was an article in the newspaper that said ‘Shivnarine out Angus in’ I was scheduled to make my debut in 1981, which incidentally was the game Clive Lloyd arrived via helicopter and scored a century.
It was a match I was very much looking forward to, given the successes I had leading up to that game it was widely anticipated that I would have been a part of that fixture, however as we now know it wasn’t to be. The day prior to match day, whilst I was practicing at Bourda, the late Les Amsterdam informed me that they would not consider me anymore for that game because they received a report that I behaved in an unprofessional manner.
I did not think he was being serious given that I was never indiscipline or unprofessional as it relates to cricket or life. That was an extremely sad day for me. I went back to the changing room and sat in the players’ enclosure hoping and praying that someone was going say to me that it was a mistake.
The players came into the dressing room after the practice session and saw me sitting in the players’ enclosure and totally ignored me. What was even more baffling to me was that those were the players; I was on tour with only a few days earlier. I was totally excluded, and was not allowed to go into the dressing room until the team meeting was finished.
I left the ground that night a broken 21-year-old feeling embarrassed and thinking I had let myself and my family, friends and supporters down. Looking back as a young man, clearly there was no support ever coming from those who were in charge of Guyana cricket.
There was never a follow-up and no one could say when the punishment would be over and why I was being punished. The stress of the treatment led to me giving up the sport for over a year.
What is indeed significant is that to date no official of the GCB has said to me what offence I was being disciplined for. What was the alleged offence I was supposed to have committed? No one has ever officially given a reason for my exclusion. Years later it was rumoured that I was excluded because I sang a song on the Bus by the Bob Marley which says “They running and they running and they running away.” It was also rumoured that Alvin Kallicharran was impressed by Clyde Butts during a practice session and decided that he wanted him to play hence I had to be removed from the team.
Most interestingly was that the period I spent away from the game, I never received a phone call from any member of the GCB or GCC, except from three players during that horrible year; Ray Joseph, Andy Jackman and the late Andrew Lyght,” Angus informed.
To be continued
Jul 05, 2020Executives and members of the Georgetown Softball Cricket League Incorporated (GSCL) express their grief at the sudden passing of a true cricket all-rounder Anil Persaud. At the time of his sudden...
The hot question at this moment is what type of attacks we will see on the Secretary-General (SG) of CARICOM, Mr. Irwin La... more
The government should not be selling any lands. It has long gone beyond being a caretaker administration and is merely in... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders There have been unhelpful and destructive attacks by leading members and zealous supporters of the... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]