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2019 Guyana Cricket Year-in-Review

first_imgBy Clifton RossCRICKET continued to flourish in 2019 across all aspects as Guyana remained the new mainstay of West Indies cricket, while locally the sport has been growing from strength-to-strength. Regional 4-Day 2018-19 seasonThe Guyana Jaguars 4-Day team have etched their name in the history books as the most dominant franchise in the Professional Cricket League (PCL), ever since its birth in 2013/14 season. Guyana have won the title 5 stra-ght years and despite losing 3 of their 10 matches last season, they still managed to retain their Chip, heading into the 2019-20 period.Their sublime record in the longest format was achieved when they retained their crown on home soil after beating the Trinidad Red Force at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence in the last round.The headliners last year were wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble who amassed 580 runs with two hundreds and one half-century. The right-hander finished with an average over 50 while snapping up 43 dismissals by a gloveman, to end as the most successful wicketkeeper.Apart from Bramble, Guyana’s core players in Tagenarine Chanderpaul (542), captain Leon Johnson (480), Vishaul Singh (366), Chandrapaul Hemraj (350), Romario Shepherd (315) and Chris Barnwell (307) were the leading run-scorers and main catalyst with the bat throughout the 10 rounds.Seasoned left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul led with 42 wickets with the fast-bowling Shepherd bagging an impressive 37 wickets to end as the most successful pacer of the competition. Left-arm seamer Raymon Reifer was next with 26 wickets while Windies star Keemo Paul and Super50 pacer-of-the-tournament in 2018, Clinton Pestano, had 22 and 20 wickets apiece respectively.Players from the Jags set-up continued to break into the Windies team with Shepherd, Sherfane Rutherford, Shimron Hetmyer, Hemraj, Devendra Bishoo and Paul all becoming mainstays in all or either featuring frequently in the three formats of international cricket during the past 12 months.Regional Super50 2019-2020The Jaguars again failed to convert their stardom and class of the 4-Dayers to the 50-Over format, as their more-than-a-decade-long pursuit to reclaim the title proved futile despite playing well.Guyana were knocked out rounds before the semis by the United States of America (USA), but their positives coming out of the tourney, however, included the revival of the 50-Over careers for the senior pair of Chris Barnwell and Jonathon Foo, who almost fetched Guyana to a title.Barnwell led the batting charge for his country with 351 runs, smashing three successive half-centuries and missed out on a ton as he had a top-score of 99. Foo trailed closely with 334 runs including two fifties to his credit including an unbeaten 97, rescuing the Jags when needed with his power-hitting down the order.For the bowlers, Permaul, Guyana’s most experienced bowler across all formats, ended with a below-par 11 wickets while Reifer weighed in with support in both departments to end with 10 wickets and 172 runs.Guyana’s major setback from the Super50 was pacer Ronsford Beaton being sent home from the series due to umpires calling his action out for being suspect. Beaton, a repeat offender, was replaced by all-rounder Ronaldo Alimohamed.Guyanese Ashmead Nedd and Kevin Sinclair played huge roles in the West Indies Emerging Players’ upset in the region to win the 2019-20 Super50 title, after being thrown into a team with a number of talented players from across the Caribbean who were not first options for their country’s franchise.GCB Awards 2019, other notable achievementsApart from the on-field action, Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) held its annual awards ceremony to honour its players, officials, clubs and shareholders. Shepherd swept the major awards for the Male Cricketer-of-the-Year and Most Improved Male Cricketer-of-the-Year.Windies Women vice-captain Shemaine Campbelle was named Female Cricketer-of-the-Year while a number of other top awards were distributed. Cricket West Indies (CWI) vice-president Kishore Shallow, who was present for the ceremony, thanked Guyana and their players for keeping West Indies cricket alive and exciting, adding that other territories should pattern themselves with regard to Guyana’s elite developmental system.The fraternity also suffered mixed emotions  in the month of December as legendary Guyana and West Indies batsman Basil Butcher passed away overseas, a little before the Christmas holidays fully commenced. The upside, following Butcher’s passing is another Guyanese in the-now Sir Clive Lloyd receiving his knighthood for the immense contributions to West Indies cricket.Also, the junior players in Ashmead Nedd and Kevlon Anderson were named in the Windies U-19 squad for the 2020 ICC Youth 50-Over World Cup which gets underway in a few days.The Jaguars’ academy players, both old and new, continued to improve while GCB further kept emphasis on Secondary School and Kiddies School cricket across the entire spread of the country.last_img read more