Apr 19, 2021 Sports
Kaieture News –
By Sean Devers
Guyana dominated Regional U-19 cricket in the 1990s winning an unprecedented six consecutive three-day titles from 1992 to 1997 and Berbician Andre Ricardo Percival is the most successful three-day U-19 Captain in the Caribbean, winning from 1992-1994.
The 46-year-old admitted at being surprised at being appointed Chairman of the National Junior panel but accepted the position because he wants to see youth cricket move forward.
“I know I can make a difference since as a successful youth Captain I know what selectors looks for in a young cricketer,” said Percival who made his U-19 debut in 1990.
“I remained involved in the game after I stopped playing because of my love for the game and the fact that I wanted to share my experience with the young cricketers as a coach,” said Percival, who attended Rose Hall Primary, Lower Corentyne Secondary and then moved on to Corentyne Comprehensive.
“As a selector I will look for commitment, discipline, fitness, runs and wickets. They must also have a good attitude towards the game and this applies to both boys and girls,” stressed Percival, who played 22 matches in five years at the youth level and scored three fifties and a century before leading the West Indies Colts in five Youth Tests and three ‘ODIs’ against England in 1994 and 1995.
Percival says he hopes to see Guyana’s cricket move to higher heights and Coaches and Cricketers treated better now that the GCB has changed.
“The standard of Youth cricket is not bad but there is room for improvement. I would suggest they do more programmes for youth cricketers, both male and females and get more coaches involved in the youth programmes,” continued Percival.
We need more cricket constantly at both the club and Franchise level. It’s like you play now and another few months after you play again, we need more competitive cricket, better facilities with better pitches,” said Percival who also represented Church Cricket Club in the Transco Lancashire League in 2002.
As a National Women’s Coach, Percival is dissatisfied with the way the Women’s game in Guyana was being treated.
“Not enough is being done for Women’s cricket. For Women’s cricket to improve we need more matches. They need to get together more, we just can’t pick a team a few days before a tournament and have very little time to prepare and hope to be successful.
When you look at the female school cricket tournament which is supposed to be a feeder for the Guyana U-19 team, the standard was very poor with some of them playing cricket for the first time. I think Coaches or National players should be sent to work with the boys and girls and then help to pick the various school teams,” said Percival, who scored his only century in his fifth and last year in youth cricket, against Trinidad and Tobago at the Wanderers ground in Barbados, in 1994.
“Regarding women’s cricket, a complete overhaul will be needed. In the past, it has proved difficult to round up 20 females who are genuinely willing and eager to learn and play cricket.
There is no hardball cricket for females to play in Demerara and Essequibo and I believe that in Georgetown the only cricket they get to play is for softball teams as preparation for the Women’s inter-county tournaments,” added Percival.
“It’s maybe just a handful of ladies who are fully equipped to play, thus lessening the number of women in the pool. The women will have their time to evolve now with plans to target them at the club levels before transitioning to inter-county or the national scene,” posited Percival, who hopes that everyone can work together for the good of Guyana’s cricket.
In 1992, the pair of left-handers; Percival and Shiv Chanderpaul made their First-Class debuts as 16-year-olds.
In a 31-match career which lasted up to 2005, Percival batted 54 times, scored 1,271 runs with a highest score of 96 at an average of 27.04 with seven fifties including 96 in 2002 and 91 in 1997.
Percival enjoyed his best years in First-Class Cricket in 1996 and 2003 when he scored two fifties in those seasons.
Percival favoured the Bajan attack and three of his seven fifties were made against them including his 96 and 91 when he was dismissed with a beauty from Ian Bradshaw.
In Regional 50-over cricket, Percival made 234 runs from 22 matches from 14 innings between 1994 and 1999 with a highest score of 45 in 1995 and an average 21.27.
He played four T20 games in the 2006 Stanford T20 tournament in Antigua. He also played two T20 games for Suriname in Florida in 2013.
Percival has a highest score of 195 against Essequibo and two centuries and nine half-centuries after making his senior Inter-county debut for Berbice as promising 15-year-old.
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