Johnson - Guyana squad well balanced
Guyana Times article.
Georgetown, Guyana - Guyana’s squad for the upcoming West Indies Cricket Board’s NAGICO Super50 tournament is one of the most well-balanced units comprising the maximum number of match-winners, according to team manager Alvin Johnson, who feels it is the best chance for the Guyanese to bag their tenth coveted title.
The squad will be led by West Indies Twenty20 all-rounder Christopher Barnwell and includes nine players who have represented the regional side in Tests, One Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20s.
“We have an extremely well-balanced team and the best part is everyone seems to be in form,” Johnson said.
Johnson believes the team has the advantage of having a strong batting line-up which will excel on batting friendly wickets. He said the team also has enough firepower in bowling to compete in the tournament.
He also believes the team’s flexibility provided by the presence of batting and bowling all rounders will be a major asset in the tournament.
Guyana has the services of the prolific Shivnarine Chanderpaul, former West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan, West Indies middle-order batsmen Narsingh Deonarine and Assad Fudadin, and West Indies A team batsman Leon Johnson in their line-up.
The all rounders include skipper Barnwell, Royston Crandon, and the likes of Devendra Bishoo, Veersammy Permaul and Paul Wintz.
“Our batting looks very strong, and if the wickets suit the spinners, we have some quality spinners in the side, the likes of Bishoo and Permaul, who will exploit such conditions” Johnson said.
“The good part of the team is that they have a lot of bowling and batting allrounders, which gives us a lot of options,” he said.
The bowling also hinges around fast bowlers Ronsford Beaton and Wintz, while Anthony Bramble is the wicketkeeper.
Former national Under-19 opener Robin Bacchus is the lone newcomer in the team, with fellow left-hander Trevon Griffith being the other opener in the squad.
On the other hand, Johnson declared that he is satisfied with the team’s preparation to date.
He applauded the Guyana Cricket Board in taking the initiative to have two fitness experts from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Patrick King and Carl Stephenson, as part of the squad rigorous training regime.
“This is the ideal preparation for such a tournament,” Johnson said.
“I think this team is a lot more mentally fit and united, while the presence of Shiv and Sars is also a positive input given their experience as West Indies players. I would say everyone is in high spirits and eager to get into action,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, following the announcement of the squad, Chairman of the Senior Selection Panel of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Rayon Griffith remains tight-lipped on the criteria used to select the squad.
While the 14-man squad is mixed with youth and experience, the announcement of the squad has led to the resignation of former national wicketkeeper/batsman Sheik Mohamed, who served as a member of the Senior Selection Panel.
Mohamed is also questioning the selection criteria used to select the Super50 squad and the omission of all-rounder Zaheer Mohamed, leg-spinner Amir Khan and batsman Jonathon Foo.
However, this publication tried to ascertain the criteria used by the selection panel, but Griffith did not ndivulge any information when asked on Monday.
“The Guyana Cricket Board will send out a release,” Griffith said.
The NAGICO Super50 competition will be held from January 30 to February 15 in Trinidad and Tobago, featuring Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, the Windward Islands, the Leeward Islands, the Combined Campuses and Colleges and ICC affiliate side Ireland.
The Barnwell-led Guyana team will open its quest for honours against Ireland in a Zone A match on January 31.
The other two teams in Zone A are Jamaica and defending One Day champions the Windward Islands. The Guyanese will then play Jamaica on February 4, before taking on the defending champions on February 7.
When the action bowls off month-end, the Guyanese will be aiming for a 10th regional 50-over title, the last of which was achieved in 2005 when they defeated Barbados in near darkness in the final of the KFC Cup at the GCC ground, Bourda.
Prior to that, Guyana reigned supreme in 1980, 1983, 1985, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2001 and 2003.
Guyana’s 14-man squad reads: Robin Bacchus, Trevon Griffith, Leon Johnson, Shivnarine Chanderpaul (vice-captain), Narsingh Deonarine, Christopher Barnwell (captain), Ramnaresh Sarwan, Royston Crandon, Assad Fudadin, Anthony Bramble (w/k), Devendra Bishoo, Veerasammy Permaul, Ronsford Beaton and Paul Wintz.