Says the Region’s most successful Keeper in PCL cricket
By Sean Devers
Berbice, Guyana and West Indies ‘B’ team Wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble keeps putting in the hard work but despite claiming the most dismissals for the past four Regional First-Class seasons, he keeps getting ignored for even West Indies ‘A’ teams as was the case last year when Jamal Hamilton was the preferred gloveman for the ‘A’ team series between West Indies and India in the Caribbean.
In 66 First Class matches, Bramble scored 2,742 runs with a highest score of 196 not out with three tons and 12 fifties. He also had 252 dismissals including 28 stumpings.
He also has 53 catches and 11 stumpings from 51 List A games, while he has 10 dismissals from 12 T20 matches.
Bramble (256) joined Milton Pydanna (188), Derwin Christian (123), Vishal Nagamootoo (116) and Robert Christiani (108) are the Guyanese keepers with 100 First-Class dismissals.
He also joined Cammie Smith, Jeffrey Dujon and Thelston Payne as Keepers who scored a century and had five dismissals in an innings.
Bramble’s batting was blamed for his non selection in the past but in December 2017 he scored his maiden century, an unbeaten 196 with 23 fours and five sixes in an innings that lasted seven and a half hours against the Leewards at Providence.
When Gudakesh Motie, who shared in a record 110-run last wicket stand with Bramble, was dismissed for 44, it left Bramble four short of joining Grenadian Junior Murray (218 against Guyana in 1997 in Grenada) as the only Wicketkeepers to score a First-Class double century in West Indies First-Class Cricket.
Bramble (256), Milton Pydanna (188), Derwin Christian (123), Vishal Nagamootoo (116) and Robert Christiani (108) are the Guyanese keepers with 100 First-Class dismissals, while Cyril Christiani, Robert Christiani, Clifford McWatt, Ivor Mendonca and Rohan Kanhai are the only Guyanese to keep in a Test match. Pydanna played three ODIs.
Bramble made his debut for Guyana U-19s in the 2008 TCL Group Regional U-19 competition in Barbados, scoring 51 in his very first innings. He played again in the 2009 TCL Group Regional Under-19 competition in Jamaica. In 13 Regional U-19 matches he scored 352 runs with 78 being the highest of his three fifties. With the gloves he held 16 catches and effected two stumpings.He made his senior Inter-County debut for Berbice in 2009 and represented the Rest Team in the 2009 inter county T20 Tournament before making his 50-over debut for Guyana in the 2010 West Indies Cricket Board Cup, in Jamaica, with moderate success.
His first-class debut came during the 2012–13 Regional Four Day Competition when he replaced Christian in the team as he was selected for the President’s X1 side.
Bramble scored his maiden first-class half-century during the 2013–14 season, an innings of 64 not out against the Combined Campuses and Colleges.
On 30 June 2016 he made his Twenty20 debut in the Caribbean Premier League in St Kitts for Guyana Amazon Warriors against the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.
In December 2017, he scored his maiden first-class century, batting for Guyana against the Leeward Islands in the 2017–18 Regional Four Day Competition.
In the 2017-2018 Regional 4-Day season, Bramble finished with 613 runs in 10 matches. His best season saw him scoring a career-best 196* and four half-centuries, at an average of 47.15.
In June 2018, he was named as Captain for the West Indies B Team for the inaugural edition of the Global T20 Canada tournament.
In June 2019 Bramble was ignored for the ‘A’ team series between West Indies and India in the Caribbean. Although Bramble had the most dismissals (43) in the 2019 season and 45 in the previous season while Jamar Hamilton who just had nine and 16 dismissals during the same period, was the preferred choice behind the stumps.
In the 2019 season, Bramble was one of only four batsmen to score two centuries and over 580 runs at an average of 57.2.In July 2019, he was named in the West Indies’ Twenty20 International (T20I) squad for the first two T20 Internationals against India at Broward County Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida in August 2019 but Nicolas Pooran did the job with the gloves.
In 2019 Bramble was picked for the Hero CPL for the first time in three years by his home franchise, Guyana Amazon Warriors after playing 12 matches for them previously.
In the aborted 2020 season which was cut short by the Global Pandemic COVID-19, Bramble had 45 dismissals and 339 runs with three fifties including 91 against T&T at Providence.
Bramble was born on December 11, 1990 to Colette Flats and Anthony Bramble in the Village of Skeldon in the Town of Corriverton in Berbice just across Guyana’s Martine border the Dutch Nation of Suriname.
One of 11 siblings including a sister, Bramble attended the Skeldon Primary and the Skeldon High school and cricket was the only sport he played at school. He played his first club cricket for Scottsburg Cricket Club in 2004 in the U-15 side.
“I did not start as a Keeper but in my second match at U-15 the Keeper got hit in his face and I kept for the remainder of the match.
Skeldon Cricket Club was sending six players to the Berbice U-15 trials and the boy who was picked as the Keeper did not want to go so I took the gloves and that’s how I became a Wicketkeeper,” informed Bramble who has played for Scottsburg, Skeldon and Albion where he is presently.Bramble, whose favourite cricketer is Ab DeVillers, resides at 76 Village, Corentyne, Berbice and is the father of two.
“My most memorable match was when I scored my first First-Class century (196*) against the Leewards to help Guyana to victory after me and Motie put on over 100 runs for the last wicket,” said the pugnacious right-handed batsman.
Bramble, hoping to join Sew Shivnarine, Narsingh Deonarine, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Devendra Bishoo and Veerasammy Permaul and become the sixth player from Albion to play Test Cricket, wants to get into Coaching after his on-field career is completed to help the youngsters coming up.
The most successful gloveman in the CWI First-Class Franchise League, Bramble says the best spinner he has kept to is Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa who he played with for the Guyana Amazon Warriors in CPL T20 cricket, while the fastest bowler he has kept to is Blairmount, Berbice, Guyana and West Indies pacer Brandon Bess who played his only Test match against South Africa in Barbados in 2010.
On what he thinks he needs to do to at least gain selection of West Indies ‘A’ team, Bramble said, “All I can do is to continue being consistent with the bat and gloves in Regional First-Class cricket and leave it up to the selectors to make their decision.”
A man of few words, the hardworking cricketer says that he was looking forward to the 2020 CPL with is in limbo due to the Global pandemic caused by the COVID-19 Virus.“Yes I have been affected by the Corona Virus. It has kept me away from cricket, training-wise. Guyana Jaguars physiotherapist and fitness trainer Neil Barry has been doing a great job with the team as we train from our homes,” explained Bramble.
In terms of names, Albion Cricket Club, located in Corentyne Berbice about 20 miles from Guyana’s first Town New Amsterdam, has the strongest first division team in Berbice.
“Since moving to Albion my cricket has improved, since Keeping and batting at practice at Albion is like a Guyana net session. The standard of club cricket in Berbice has been very good. The BCB ensures a lot of cricket is played here,” Bramble informed.
The Cricket Guyana Inc (CGI) inaugurated the Franchise System in 2015 and Bramble said, while there are several outstanding players and many good teams, the general standard could be better in terms of performances since this is the step just below the First-Class level.
The local three-day and 50-over CWI Franchise League replaced the senior Inter-County which was last played in May 2015.
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