Oct 29, 2020 Sports
Says Ex-Nat left-arm spinner Glen Robinson
By Sean Devers
Forty-nine-year-old Glen Robinson lives in Canada with his wife Jacqueline whom he married on October 12 1996 and his 21-year-old son Jayden after migrating to North America in 1995.
He represented Malteenoes, Demerara and Guyana at both youth and senior levels before playing professionally for Vikings CC in Canada.
Robinson made his National U-19 debut in Trinidad in 1986 and in the last of his five years at the U-19 level, led Guyana to third with two other teams when Barbados won the 1990 tournament in Trinidad.
Given the Captaincy after Paul Persaud (who led the team the year before in Guyana) turned down the job, Robinson’s team played unbeaten in the tournament but Guyana conceded first innings points to Champions Barbados.
In 1990, an Australian U-21 team was touring the West Indies with players like Michael Bevan and Shane Warne. They beat the Guyana U-19s but the highlight of Robinson’s youth career came when Guyana beat the West Indies U-19 which was led by Bajan Sherwin Campbell.
Robinson, a brilliant fielder and a passionate ‘team-man’, played four games for Guyana in the Shell/Sandals Trophy Regional50-over tournament. He took 2-13 from four overs on his debut against the Leewards at Blairmont in 1994 before playing his final three games the next year.
He finished with four wickets for 126 runs at an average of 31.72 and an economy rate of 5.72.
Known as an all-rounder at club level for Malteenoes where he scored a century against Police, Robinson failed
to do his batting ability justice, managing just seven runs from two innings. Robinson was born on June, 28, 1971 in Georgetown and played his cricket in the 1980s and mid-90s when the standard of club and Regional Cricket was very high. Robinson grew up on the Uitvlugt Sugar Estate on the West Coast Demerara with his mother Rosamund June Robinson and father George Leslie Grandison Robinson and is the eldest of three siblings; Grandison, Kenon (now deceased) and Katina Robinson.
“My dad was working at Demerara Distillers Limited and I spent my pre-teen years in Uitvlugt. It was a great lesson of growing up in a multi cultured environment on the estate, going to church just off the estate and going to schools in the area.
I have treasured memories with families and friends while going to school there because we (Grandison and I) were among the very few black kids at Met-en-Meer Zorg Primary school. Things like playing marbles (Gam), hop-scotch, fishing and messing with cows and horses and then running for your life when they turned in your direction, were memorable childhood experiences” Robinson said with a chuckle.
There was a playground and a swimming pool at the Estate so learning to swim became a must and as typical kids, things like racing to see who is the fastest runner and swimmer, helped in creating that desire to be the best” Robinson continued.
Robinson, whose brother Grandison played Badminton for Guyana, started at Execeter’s Nursery before attending the Met-en-Meer Zorg Primary school on the West Coast of Demerara. He then moved to the City and went to St. Margaret’s Primary School. After going to the Central High School he was transferred to St. Stanislaus College after one year.
“Sports was not big in School I was growing up on the West Coast and when I got to St. Margaret’s Primary, I was extremely intimidated by all the other kids, being the country boy. But I found my comfort zone in athletics. I remember when I got to 4th standard, I wanted to do anything athletic so for a brief period, joined the ballet team (all girls) because there was jumping” Robinson posited.
“My male friends laughed at me and did not let me be part of anything they were doing. So that ended as quickly as it started. Then came school sports where running and swimming were involved and that’s where I saw my opening and from there, got my true liking for sports and when cricket was brought in I was able to make the team” informed Robinson who played football, basketball, badminton and cricket at school.
“My dad was a very good cricketer who accepted a scholarship to attend Queens College. He led a QC schoolboys’ team against an English touring team and was the first schoolboy to lead a team against a foreign touring team. I also remember us traveling to England when West Indies toured there.
My aunt and uncle lived in Surrey and we would stay with them and watch cricket on the television, this was in the 1970’s. I wanted to be any one of the fast bowlers of that era and any of the great batsmen who took down teams with their aggressive and dominant approach. I had never seen that dominance from guys who looked like me and I fell in love with cricket.” Robinson stated.
“It had to have been 1981 so I would have been 10 years old when I joined Malteenoes. I was at Central High School in Thomas Lands and the cricket field was always crowded with students playing every sport.
The ball would be hit into the Malteenoes ground and it was a decision to leave the ball there because of a gutter that had to be crossed. I did one day and was on an actual cricket ground that looked like those you’d see on TV that fired my desire to want to belong to that club” said Robinson.
Robinson made his first division debut in 1982 against GYO after he was the substitute fielder in the Case Cup team. “I was 12th man and with the game being played at DCC, rain fell on the East Coast where one of our players lived and thinking it was raining in Georgetown, was absent when the teams were declared.
MSC’s Captain, Carl Armstrong, selected me for the game and I got 3-9 and will never forget that experience” Robinson said. Mr Claude Raphael was the President in 1984 when the MSC youth section was formed and Robinson was named Captain.
“A group of us decided to ask the groundsman, Mr Abrahams (AB), if we could play on the corner because the school ground was crowded, he agreed and as more cricketers started coming over, he decided to start a junior programme and bought a book for us to register and my name was the first.” Robinson disclosed.
“My years of U-16 was a great stepping stone because our team would win two innings games in one day. It taught me what it felt like working to get those victories with the tools we had and more importantly as a captain, that was my best memory of that era” Robinson.
“I was disappointed that I was not given the National U-19 Captaincy before because I felt that the captains I’ve had at Malteenoes like Carl Armstrong, Linden Dodson, Orin Hudson, Nezam Hafiz and Neil Barry, all left strong traits and I knew I was ready.It so happened that 1990 someone was picked as captain but refused so I was the other option…I can still remember how angry I was and how many times I cried but nothing happens before it’s time” Robinson opined.
Robinson’s most memorable moment playing for Guyana at the U-19 level was at Sabina Park in 1987. “I remember playing against Jamaica and you (this writer) and I bowling long spells, especially to Robert Samuels who was stuck in the in the 90s as we bowled lots of maidens. None of us wanted him to get that hundred off us.
I remember after we struggled with the batting in the 1st innings and I fought hard to keep my wicket with pride. The moment that was satisfying to me was after the game, Jimmy Adams came into our dressing room and said he was happy to see how resilient I was in trying to put up a fight and that he had come to shake my hand…yes, a selfish moment in defeat but it felt good getting some “Bly” from a someone like him.” Robinson.
“It was always that thing of knowing if you were among the top wicket-takers and making runs and always working hard at being the best in the field, I always thought that nothing’s going to stop you from kicking doors down, but that was not always the case.
Malteenoes had been producing cricketers to represent Guyana at U-19 and senior levels. Being among a group that made national U-19team at 14 in 1986 and could not make the senior team until 5 years later, I felt mentally exhausted but determined to prove it was a mistake it didn’t happen earlier.
Definitely I was disappointed in not playing more games. You feel like a sprinter where you work all year but you only get one opportunity to enter the big race. Similarly, there weren’t many opportunities other than one 4-day tournament and one limited overs tournament per year.
To be able to feel you’re coming into your own and not getting the full break to do this felt frustrating” lamented Robinson. “At youth level we played the two innings format but I was only selected for the 50 overs format at senior level. Different styles and approach but the significant difference I found was now instead of coming up against guys trying to make the West Indies team, you’re now up against actual West Indies players and you had one chance to get it right” added Robinson.
His most memorable moment at senior level was getting 2-13 on debut and winning the Semi Finals against Barbados the following year in Barbados. “Captain Carl Hooper kept me on… telling me the ball is mine and giving me lots of confidence even though the ball was wet, gripping and spinning was tough but he made me know that what I was doing was working and I deserved to be there, the most powerful feeling you can get from your captain” said Robinson who enjoyed bowling more than batting.
Robinson revealed that Carl Hooper and Andy Jackman were the best batsmen he has bowled to. “Hooper was able to hit you so effortlessly batting in the crease or using his feet while Jackman was the most complete batsmen I’ve seen. His anticipation when to use his feet is something only spinners can marvel how quick on his feet he was.
“The fastest bowler I faced would be between my 1st year of youth cricket and the Windwards at senior level. Going out to face Cleve Joseph and getting rocked in the helmet 1st ball, felt like a bullet hit me before I could go into the hook shot. Then against the Windwards, Cameron Cuffy gave me one so quick, it disappeared off the pitch to the top of my bat handle as I was caught at fine leg” said Robinson.
Robinson migrated in 1995. “Didn’t seem like things were going to change and I am guilty of not feeling motivated to compete as hard as I would usually do to fight for a spot. I remember whenever I felt like my back was against the wall, my training became more intense because nothing was going to stop me from making a team.
But I started to feel more like, I’ll be playing cricket in Canada as a pro so the fight was now in a different race. I remember Neil McGarrell coming along and me saying, this guy is really good…that’s like when a boxer getting knocked out starts to not wanna get hit, the fight’s taken out of him and not trying to discredit Neil because he was on another level at that time and deserved everything that came his way.
Getting into the First-Class team would automatically qualify you for an English contract but fight was beaten out of me and I felt comfortable settling to be a pro in Canada” Robinson admitted.
“Coming here (Canada) and playing for two years before, part of our contract included working at different companies which could’ve been from easy work to fairly tough work. The change from being here playing cricket during the afternoons and weekends while working and doing social everyday things during the other parts of the days and nights made the transition not too difficult” added Robinson
Robinson has been working with a Transportation Company for the last 21 years but his cricket days were cut short after he was seriously injured on the job when he was almost squashed by two trains and now lives with herniated disks but lucky to be alive.
“I believe when we played, we were forced to work harder for the opportunities because they were so far and few, we knew it was go all out or we’d miss our chances and if we made that break through, we’re stuck in that limbo of holding on to something we were never prepared for by anyone or the very few who were driven beyond that scope were forced to figure it out on our own.
The players of today have more chances because the choices are a lot more available. However, there is the need for more coaching in the different areas, our administrators aren’t willing to accept that to get our cricketers ready to compete at the next level, there is a need to invest in the other areas where we’ve been falling short.
The investment in more coaching and coaches, there has to be financial assistance for clubs for them to be able to help produce quality cricketers.
With the kind of money that’s available for cricketers today, there should be a heavier push for the West Indies to have a stronger force at developing our own brand and I don’t mean to compete against things like the IPL but get financial investors involved and create an engine that brings cricketers to want to be a brand for their clubs which will help us develop more physiotherapist and coaches. We want a million-dollar quality performances from players getting pennies to build the brand” he lamented.
“The thing I remember when I joined Malteenoes was someone asked what will be our legacy and at that time, we took that to heart and built something that was unique which was separate from what the guys before us had built.
So to the young players today with all the technology and tools they have available to them, find your own version of what you want to be remembered by, make your own mark and be as dominant and let no one get in your way from doing something you love and enjoy into what you can get paid for while making a comfortable living from it” Robinson advised.
Nov 27, 2020Ifill’s all-round work gives Regal Masters 10-Wkt win W/Dem Mavericks remain unbeaten joined W/ B’ce & Jai Hind in play offs An outstanding all-round performance from Anthony Ifill, who...
Nov 27, 2020
Nov 27, 2020
Nov 26, 2020
Nov 26, 2020
Nov 26, 2020
Kaieteur News – Leonard Craig and Michael Carrington are two of the better young people politics has produced. I say... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – Governments in Central America are calling for “Climate Justice” after 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]