Jan 18, 2021 Sports
By Sean Devers
Kaieteur News- A full strength Guyana Jaguars team will aim to lift their ninth Regional 50-over title when this year’s Regional Super50 bowls off on February 4 in Antigua where Guyana captured its first title in 1980.
As the preparatory work for this tournament continue, teams lead by pugnacious West Indies left-hander Shimron Hetmyer and National Captain Leon Johnson face-off in the first of three practice matches at the LBI ground today from 09:00hrs.
The second practice match should take place on Thursday before the final game is set for Saturday and no fans are allowed in keeping with the pandemic protocols.
Guyana Jaguars Head Coach and former Guyana fast bowling All- Rounder Esuan Crandon spoke with Kaieteur Sport yesterday about the team’s preparations.
“Today’s practice match is very important since every opportunity we get to prepare is essential to the team and the first practice match is no different.
It’s an opportunity for all the players to prove their worth and it will also allow us to see how well the individuals understand and play their roles.
I am expecting a keenly contested practice game tomorrow (today). We should expect high quality and intensity throughout our practice matches and hopefully we can get some good weather and preparation heading this Super50 tournament,” said the Berbician who has 90 wickets from 38 First-Class games and 29 scalps from 28 List ‘A’ matches.
Crandon, whose national career lasted between 2001 and 2011, posited that the pitch at the CGI’s facility at LBI is fairly new and not a lot of practice sessions or matches have been played on them.
“We practiced on it a few times and it’s getting better and with consistent proper preparatory work it should be good for games,” added Crandon who was part of Guyana T20 team for the Champions League in 2010 in South Africa.
Crandon, who turned 39 last month, lamented that the squad’s physical preparation was difficult during the first few months of the Pandemic.
“Players were restricted to strength and conditioning work at home via Zoom.
It was tough for most of them, some were fortunate to have facilities available to them.
The past couple of months we were able to do a lot more outdoor work and the players were able to benefit more from those sessions.
I am happy with the results in general, taking into consideration the challenges we faced.
Yes, we are not happy with fitness levels of a few players but they are not far off with consistent work,” said Crandon who was appointed West Indies Assistant Coach in January 2019.
Crandon, Guyana’s head Coach since 2012, explained that mental preparation is crucial if Guyana is to break the 16-year drought of not winning a Regional 50-over title.
In 2005 KFC cup, Ramnaresh Sarwan scored 462 runs with three centuries; the most runs and most centuries in the tournament, while Mahendra Nagamootoo captured 12 wickets for a tournament high.
Sewnarine Chattergoon scored a delightful century in the final at Bourda before Neil McGarrell’s six off Suleiman Benn, helped Guyana beat Barbados on the Duckworth/Lewis system.
“The mental aspects of the game has been of high importance during preparations and I am looking forward to us playing smart cricket.
To do well we have to be able to keep that sharp focus throughout the games and we need to identify and win the crucial moments and be able to maintain calmness, control and execute well under intense pressure,” stressed Coach Crandon.
It is understood from a CWI official that the deadline for the submission of teams was last week Saturday and all the Franchises have selected their squads.
The Kieron Pollard led Trinidad Red Force side, packed with mostly international players, will start as pre-tournament favorites.
However, only theGuyana Jaguars and the Windwards Volcanoes have not released their team to the public as yet.
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