Jun 23, 2021 Sports
Says Rutherford should be encouraged to play all formats
By Sean Devers
The Guyana Jaguars’ 15-man Squad was selected last month for the 2021/2022 season and former West Indies U-19 batsman 20-year-old Kevlon Anderson has secured a contract in theWest Indies Professional Cricketers Draft.
The Berbician Anderson, arguable the most complete young batsman in Guyana, has not yet made his First-Class debut and is the only new comer in the Jaguars list.
West Indies left-handed all-rounder, Bajan Raymon Reifer was picked by his home Country after not being retained by the Jaguars, who he represented for the six seasons.
Guyana Jaguars, led by Leon Johnson, won the Regional First-Class title for five consecutive seasons before being dethroned by Barbados in the 2020 season which was aborted after eight rounds due to the outbreak of the global pandemic Covid-19.
New chairman of the Guyana Cricket (GCB) senior selection panel, former Guyana and West Indies Captain Ramnaresh ‘Ronnie’ Sarwan, who celebrates his 41st birthday today, explained that the Guyana Franchise squad was selected based on experience.
“The squad was selected more on experience since no Regional cricket has been played since March last year. If you look at our performances over the years we have problems with our batting.
The biggest challenge has been with the bat so we give the more experienced guys a chance to set that right.The bowlers have been holding their own,” said Sarwan, who has scored 15 tons and 31 fifties from 87 Tests at an Average of just over 40.
“Of course we have got some younger guys who are coming through as well so when opportunities present themselves we as selectors have got to make some decisions on moving forward on giving them the opportunity to perform,” continued Sarwan, who Averaged 42.67 from 181 ODIs in an International career that spanned from May 2000 to June 2013.
Sarwan, who made his First-Class debut at 15 in 1995 to become the youngest to do so in West Indies cricket, informed that the players have begun training with Coach Esuan Crandon.
“They had some training sessions with Coach Crandon who has been doing a pretty good job. We have been using the Stadium to do mostly physical training since we have not had the opportunity do much practicing outdoors.
I think Crandon has been focusing on getting their fitness standards to where he wants it to be and once there is the opportunity to get the practice sessions we will utilise the facilities we have got here,” added Sarwan, who led Guyana to their last Regional 50-overs title in 2005 at Bourda.
Sarwan informed that the GCB has been trying to get the Stadium but because of Pakistan tour to Guyana for three T20 matches against the West Indies from July 31 to August 3, the Stadium has been closed to prepare for that.
Former West Indies U-19 player Tevin Imlach played in the last Regional Surper50 in Antigua and Sarwan said that the selectors thought about including two Keepers in the event that something happens to first-choice Anthony Bramble.
“We did not pick a second wicket-keeper because the fixtures have not been set as yet and they do not know where the Jaguars will be playing,” disclosed the GCC member.
The CWI has asked the Regional Boards to play practice matches called ‘the best versus the rest’ and the Head of the National selectors said those matches are a part of the programme planned.
“Yes, we have spoken about it…the selectors and the Coach spoken about it but the rain has played a major part in us not getting to that in place. Once the rain eases and there is an opportunity to play it and it’s still valid, we will go ahead and play it,” said Sarwan, who retired from First-class cricket in June 2014 while playing in the English County cricket.
It was planned for those games to be played in Berbice from June 24 but the adverse weather has disrupted those plans.
The return of the senior Inter-County four-day tournament to be played in each of the three Counties is also planned but consistent rain which caused a level 2 flooding in most of Guyana, has also put those plans on hold.
On the topic of T20 specialist Sherfane Rutherford, who is presently participating in the Pakistan Super League in Abu Dhabi, and says he still wants to play for Guyana and the West Indies, Sarwan said nobody has been ruled out.
“Of course he can be picked for Guyana despite him not being among the contracted players…we are not ruling out anybody.
What we want to is form a core group of guys together and in the case of Rutherford he has a lot of cricket ahead of him. Not only white ball cricket, but four-day as well once he gets himself together.
I did reach out to him but he has been a bit busy and I will reach out to him again and try to convince him of the importance of him playing all three formats,” concluded the classy right-hander who scored 33 centuries and 71 fifties at First-Class level.
Guyana Jaguars squad: Leon Johnson (Capt), Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Vishaul Singh, Shimron Hetmyer, Kevlon Anderson, Chris Barnwell, Anthony Bramble, Romario Shepherd, Keemo Paul, Veerasammy Permaul, Gudakesh Motie, Kevin Sinclair, Nial Smith, Keon Joseph
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