Jun 15, 2020 Sports
By Zaheer Mohamed
Guyanese batsman Assad Badyr Fudadin said that he relishes the experience of playing for the Jamaica Scorpions and that he is longing for a return to competitive cricket.
Fudadin played four games for the Scorpions in the Cricket West Indies 2020 first class season, which was cancelled on March 24 due to the coronavirus pandemic with two rounds of matches remaining. Barbados Pride were declared champions after they finished at top of the group on 134.8 points.
Fudadin, who is currently in Jamaica, told Kaieteur Sport that he wants to return home and is in contact with the Guyana Consulate of Jamaica to secure a flight which he said is difficult at the moment due to the lockdown caused by the Covid-19.
The Scorpions finished the season in third position on 91.8 points and Fudadin said that he wanted to contribute more with the bat and helped his team finish in a better position. However, in the sporting world, it is a known fact that form is temporary, but class is permanent.
Fudadin admitted that he struggled with his form during the last season, but noted there is always room for improvement.
Prior to the Regional four-day tournament, Fudadin had an excellent Super 50 competition where he was among the leading batsmen for his franchise and was confident of doing well in the four-day tournament. “I was batting in a local franchise game in Jamaica and had just reached a half century when I sustained an injury to one of my fingers, however I recovered in time for the four-day competition, so I can’t say the injury contributed to my poor run of form in that tournament. I do work hard on my fitness and in the nets as well, but I have to work a little harder on my conversion,” added Fudadin.
Nevertheless, the Berbician stated that he enjoyed playing for the Jamaican franchise. “I learnt a lot playing for this team, the players supported each other and shared their experiences. Playing on different surfaces certainly helps a lot and my game has improved in certain areas. I get to understand more about the Jamaican culture and the people have been good to me in the years I have been coming here,” he informed.
Fudadin indicated that he is hoping that the Covid-19 vanishes soonest so that cricket can resume. “I missed playing the game and everything that goes with it, interacting with players, training together and so on. I am prepared to give my best to enhance whichever team I play for,” he posited.
The left-handed Fudadin tasted success early in his career as he was part of the victorious West Indies U15 team that won the Cost Cutter U15 World Challenge in England. He made a fine half century to lead the Regional side to victory against Pakistan in the final at Lords in 2000. Fudadin represented the West Indies in the U19 World Cup in 2004, where he made three half-centuries to help his side reach the final which they lost to Pakistan. He soon established himself in the Guyana senior team and was their leading run-getter in the Regional first-class tournament in 2009-10. He then went to play for the West Indies A team and played against England A, India A, Bangladesh A and Sri Lanka A.
After enjoying much success, a lot was expected of Fudadin at the international level, however, while on tour in South Africa, he sustained a fractured finger in the warm ups ahead of the first test in Pretoria. Ironically, the fielding coach of the West Indies team on that tour, Andre Coley, is the current Jamaican coach. His replacement Narsingh Deonarine encountered some issues on his way to South Africa which delayed his arrival there. Fudadin stayed on with the team throughout the test series, while Deonarine played in the one dayers. Even though his injury took some time to heal, Fudadin was never recalled to the senior side, neither was Deonarine who had a decent performance on that tour. Certainly failure was never a reason for both batsmen being dropped from the team.
Fudadin played in three test matches, two of which the West Indies won, while the other was a drawn encounter. He scored 122 runs with a highest score of 55 and average 30.5.
Not being able to bat at one position in the order for a tournament can affect any batsman negatively. This is one challenge Fudadin have had to cope with throughout his career. “I was asked to fill in the opening slot, a job I have been doing all the time. I have been up and down the order throughout my career and this didn’t serve me well. I am a middle order batsman and whenever there is an injury or failure at the top of the order I have to fill in, I am a team player so I always try to do the job to the best of my ability. An entire season didn’t pass with me batting at one position. This can affect a player in many ways and it is being reflected in my first class career. I struggled to come to grips with it. I am not making an excuse for anything, but this is an additional challenge, however I put the team first,” he pointed out.
“My job at the top of the order was basically to see off the new ball and even though it was not what I preferred, these little things can make a difference in a team winning or losing a game and I look at these things,” Fudadin said.
Conquering quality spin bowling has been a cause for concern for most regional batsmen and when quizzed on this issue, Fudadin feels that batsmen need to use their feet a lot more when playing spin bowling. “Most of the pitches in the Caribbean favour spinners and the batsmen need to use their feet a lot more. Judging lengths and reading the bowlers are some areas of concern as well,” he noted, adding that he has seen some improvement with the pitches in Jamaica.
The Guyana Jaguars won the Regional four-day tournament for five consecutive years and Fudadin contributed to three of those titles. He was part of the Guyana team that won the Regional Super 50 in 2005 and also played for the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League.
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