Aug 09, 2020 Sports Comments Off on My aim was to play test cricket- Hemnarine Chattergoon
By Zaheer Mohamed
It is the dream of every young cricketers to play at the highest level and while it is understood that not all of them will reach the pinnacle of the sport, one would expect that the most promising players, especially those that are committed and remain disciplined, would frequently attain elite status. However, over the years we have seen many talented cricketers bowing out early in their careers, hence this does not paint a good picture for the younger players.
And this happens for various reasons – indiscipline, lack of commitment, injuries, not being favoured by selectors and lack of proper guidance. But in the case of former Guyana and West Indies U19 batsman Hemnarine Chattergoon, it was a matter of frustration-after not gaining selection on the Guyana senior team, Chattergoon opted to migrate to Canada in 1998 and his decision virtually brought the curtains down on what was a promising career.
Hemnarine Chattergoon is the eldest of four brothers, all of whom represented Guyana; Sewnarine is the lone Chattergoon sibling to don maroon colours at the highest level. Ramnarine and Harrinarine turned out for Guyana at the U19 level; the former also played for the University of the West Indies.
Born at Fyrish in Berbice, Hemnarine developed a passion for the game at an early age, and along with his siblings started to play in their backyard and in the streets using bats made out of coconut branches with small coconuts for balls. Following his sitting of the Common Entrance Examination, Hemnarine earned a place at J.C. Chandisingh Secondary School where he started to play competitively and later became a member of the Albion Cricket Club. “I was 13 when I learnt from a friend in school about an Under 16 team at Albion CC. I was excited to hear this news and I subsequently became a member of the club. There I met coach Fabian Naiken and he helped me along,” he said.
The 43-year old Hemnarine is one of the few players who played senior inter county cricket before playing at the junior inter county level. He made his first division debut at the age of 15 and after scoring heavily, he was called up to represent Berbice in the senior inter county tournament at the age of 16 and made his debut against Demerara.
Despite playing senior inter county cricket at an early age, Hemnarine said that he came into the limelight after scoring 86 against Malteenoes Sports Club in a nationwide club tournament. “This was an important game for us and we were up against the likes of Barrington Browne, Neil Barry and Lennox Cush among other national players. This innings caught the eyes of many and my career took off,” he added.
Hemnarine earned a place on the Guyana U19 team in the 1996 Regional U19 tournament in Jamaica. He became the first Guyanese batsman to register centuries in his first two innings of a Regional Under-19 tournament – 128 versus Barbados and 110 against Windward Islands. The Guyana team which was led by Vishal Nagamootoo and also included Ramnaresh Sarwan, Azeemul Haniff, Andy Chinsammy, Ricardo Mohamed and Travis Dowlin emerged victorious in that competition – one of their record sixth consecutive victories. After ending that tournament with a healthy average of 76, Hemnarine was awarded a place on the West Indies youth team to oppose Pakistan U19 in the Caribbean – the other Guyanese that gained selection on the team were Sarwan, Nagamootoo, Chinsammy and Haniff.
In the first U19 test, Hemnarine made 69 and 42 in Jamaica, he was dismissed without scoring in the first innings of the second test in Barbados, but rebounded with an even hundred in the second innings – his knock helped the regional side to a draw; Haniff and Sarwan also made centuries in that game. Hemnarine recalled that following his century, former West Indies batsman Gus Logie, who was part of the West Indies U19 management unit got emotional. “We were asked to follow on in that game and Haniff and I shared in a crucial partnership. I got to my century with four consecutive fours and I would forever cherish that moment, I remembered Gus Logie getting emotional following my innings,” he recalled. The third test which was played at Bourda as well as the series was drawn.
Regarded as the most naturally talented of the Chattergoon brothers, Hemnarine was certain to represent Guyana at the First Class level and was confident of playing for the West Indies at the highest level, but what followed sent shockwaves throughout the Region.
Hemnarine visited Canada in 1997, he returned the following year and played in the senior inter county tournament. He was included in the Guyana training squad for the remaining three away games in the Regional first class tournament. The team was training at Uitvlugt when he got the good news of his inclusion in the touring party, but he was subsequently omitted. “We were fine tuning preparations at Uitvlugt and after the team was selected, the manager (the late Ivor Mendonca) told me that I am on the team to play in the remaining three games and he extended congratulations. I was excited and on hearing this news. However, when the team was released my name was missing from the list. I felt disappointed and for this reason I migrated to Canada.”
Hemnarine alleged that the reason for his name being struck off from the list was his refusal to play for a city side. “One official from the Guyana Cricket Board back then had asked me to play for Georgetown Cricket Club instead of Albion. I told that official that I would only play for GCC when I do not have a commitment with Albion CC and this resulted in my omission from that team.”
Hemnarine, who plays only softball cricket these days, said that if he was to relive that moment, he would have definitely played for GCC due to the fact that his goal was to play test cricket. “I was confident of playing 100 test matches,” he stated positively.
Hemnarine played first class cricket for Canada against UAE in 2006 and in 2010 versus Zimbabwe and according to him by then his best playing days were over.
He indicated that his parents (Dianand and Shamshadbagan both deceased) were very supportive and provided much needed guidance and motivation. Hemnarine is advising the young cricketers today to stay focused and work hard to achieve their goals, adding that the sky is the limit. “Cricket now has a lot of advantages whereby the youths can earn a decent living even by playing at the first class level.” He urged them to remain disciplined.
Sep 18, 2020Guyanese Vivian Harris owns Restaurant in Florida By Sean Devers One of six boxers to win world titles for Guyana including the two females, Shondell Alfred and Gwendoline O’Neil, 42 year-old...
Sep 18, 2020
Sep 17, 2020
Sep 17, 2020
Sep 16, 2020
Sep 16, 2020
There is a letter in yesterday’s Stabroek News that all young scholars need to study and importantly contextualize the... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Once again, Guyana is causing regional and international worry following two sets of killings of young... 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]