Jan 23, 2021 Sports
By Sean Devers
Kaieteur News – The last time Guyana won a Regional 50-over title was 16 years ago when Shiv Chanderpaul led Guyana to the 2005 KFC Cup with victory against Barbados at Bourda.
National Cricket Captain and West Indies Test player Leon Johnson explained how preparations are going for next month’s Regional Super50 in Antigua and what needs to be done differently for his team to break the title drought.
“Preparations are coming along well and it’s picking up better now. We had a set back with Romario (Shepherd) who tested positive for the Corona Virus about 19 days ago. He came to train with us before he was to go to Bangladesh tour and everybody had to go into a two-week quarantine. So that kinda hampered us a bit,” informed the 33 year-old Johnson while speaking on the Sean Devers Sports programme on Kaieteur Radio.
“But we are back out and did a fitness assessment on the 14th… it was decent…most of the guys were at a good standard.
Most of the guys had not played cricket for the better part of 10 months and it showed in our two practice matches.
The batters were a bit rusty but we showed some improvement in the second game.
Hopefully we will see more improvement but when we get to Antigua conditions will be different and I hope we can get some practice there and be ready for the tournament,” added Johnson who scored two fifties in his nine Test matches.
It’s been 16 years since Guyana last won a title and Johnson informed that the team spoke of that before the start of the second game.
“I was thinking back and a lot of the times we would have lost in finals or semi-finals… the batting has always let us down in those games, while the bowling held its own.
The last time we won in 2005 Ramnaresh Sarwan good some good scores and was dominant, while (Sewnarine) Chattergoon got a century in the final and the others batted around him and that’s what has been letting us down in crucial games and for the better part of the last decade.
We addressed this and although we didn’t do so well with the bat in the practice games, but hopefully when get to Antigua we hope that in five, six, seven matches and the batting will click and support the bowling which has done well so far,” disclosed Johnson who has one half-century in six ODIs.
Asked about the adherence to the covid-19 protocols, Johnson said they are guys who have been in bubbles recently playing but added that he has not been in a bubble and admitted that he was apprehensive about it.
“Over the years when you travel to play cricket you are accustom to having some sort of freedom it might…might have some sort of effect, especially over a long period it will probably take a toll on the players,” concluded the left-hander who scored one century and 13 fifties 75 List ‘A’ games.
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