Questions raised about Guyana’s preparedness for Regional Tournament: team ended at bottom of 20-13 competition by Andre Nelson
Several questions are being raised as to the preparedness of the National U17 team’s readiness for the WICB Regional Under 17 tournament which recently concluded in Tobago as seen Guyana suffering four defeats from five matches.
What many cricketing pundits have pointed out is the fact that in their match against Windward Islands the battling collapsed resulting in an easy nine victory for the team that has been regarded as the underdogs. A batting collapse against Barbados resulted in Guyana losing its second match. Guyana went on to lose its match by a relatively small margin to Leeward Islands before winning comfortably against Jamaica. It then went on to lose its final match to eventual champions Trinidad and Tobago.
However, several persons at home and abroad felt that the timeframe given to select and prepare the national team was woefully inadequate. “You can’t want win a competition and you taking players who are not even up to the bar, the GCB got to be more serious,” a cricket fan said.
The view expressed by another fan is that the team was a very weak one thus their poor performance. The fan said that while the team boasted a number of all-rounders, the players had not made any significant performance.
“You had a team that certainly needs to go back to the drawing board and conceptualize another strategy as the thrashing given by their opponents and the poor batting against them have left fans at home and abroad feeling deserted,” he said.
However, while the batsmen’s have seem to have fallen short thus far, the bowlers have been doing well including Persaud,
“You have a bunch of guys who were thrown onto the field to play with the instructions that they got to win but when these guys bowled a few overs and were being hit around the ground you had to ask if the best players were taken,” another fan said.
He continued, “The sad thing is that while these guys gaved us mediocre performances our cricket and cricketing image was being destroyed. We (GCB) must recognize that a lot has to be done if we are going to take youth cricket into a positive direction. While we ended the tournament at the bottom of the table I trust that the team will seek to take back home the experience that they need to play competitive cricket at every level if they are going to be successful as I firmly believe that these guys have talent but for some reason or the other seems incapable of adapting to the conditions that were available to them in Tobago and as such gave very embarrassing performances.”
Guyana has never won the Regional Under 17 title and prior to the start of the tournament coach of the National Under 17 team Gavin Nedd had said that his team will seek to take advantage of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) bonus points systems. He had stated that WICB was issuing 0.5 points for every wicket that is taken by a fast bowler.
This, Nedd had noted will be an avenue that the national side will seek to exploit in an effort to better their fourth place finish that they got in the 2012 version of the competition. “I am happy with the new bonus points system that the WICB had introduced as my players will take advantage of it as it seeks to help in developing fast bowlers within the region.”
However the team never capitalized on the many opportunities that had been presented thus resulting in their last place finish.