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Idlewild Park: Battle Ground For Cold War Action
Berbice-Demerara 20/20 Clash

By John L. Aaron
New York City has its five boroughs, Barbados has its 11 parishes, Jamaica has 14, Trinidad has 11 regions and Guyana’s 10 regions are derived from its three counties; Essequibo, Berbice and Demerara. However, it is the rivalry between the latter two counties that’s of interest today at Idlewild Park in Rosedale, Queens.

This is the third annual match up between representative teams from the counties of Berbice and Demerara. However, it’s the first time that the format will be the now popular Twenty/20 version of the game, which should add some added excitement to the rivalry. Berbice has won on both previous occasions and are no doubt looking to go up three-nil, while Demerara is looking to break the jinx. The match gets underway at 12:00 noon at the 223rd Street and 147th Avenue, Rosedale cricket ground.

With the tides of October upon us, Idlewild, with temperatures expected to be around a 57 degrees today, will no doubt be the scene of a chilly wind and the unwritten cold war between the rivals. The two counties of the 83,000 square mile South American nation have always rivaled each other for cricket supremacy, or the production of world-class cricketers.

Berbice has produced such West Indies Test players as Rohan Kanhai, Basil Butcher, Joe Solomon, Alvin Kallicharran, John Trim, Leonard Baichan and Sew Shivnarine – today’s manager of the Berbice XI, while Demerara has contributed to the glory of West Indies Test cricket with such stalwarts as Clive Lloyd, Lance Gibbs, Carl Hooper, Clyde Butts, Rex Collymore and Shivnarine Chanderpaul. The Demerara group includes three former West Indies Test captains; leadership karma that Demerara hopes will no doubt help them in today’s much anticipated game.

The major sponsor of today’s match is Insaf “Birdman” Ali of Two A’s Mechanical, Inc. Birdman, as the enthusiastic cricket supporter is more popularly known, is determined to keep the tradition of the inter-county New York rivalry going. So much so, that the New York businessman and Eastern American Cricket Association vice president single-handedly offered to sponsor the match, after other sponsors failed to keep their promises of financial support.

The Line Ups
With an abundance of local New York based cricketers represent ting Berbice and Demerara, in the New York metropolitan area, a much anticipated and exciting game is in the offing, with the following line-ups.

Berbice will be led by veteran Zamin Amin and include Marlon Kallicharran, Karan Ganesh, Kevin Darlington, Deryck Kallicharran, T. McKenzie, Harry Harrinarine, Amirnauth Ramcharitar, D. Pooran, Kaleem Bux and Bhim George. The squad will be managed by former Test cricketer Sew Shivnarine and coached by former Guyana national wicket keeper Milton Pydanna. Demerara, under the captaincy of current USA national captain Steve Massiah, is expected to include Lennox Cush, M. Prashad, S. Sadloo, Debo Sankar, Deryck McDonald, Leroy Jackman, Imran Ali, Melroy Kingston, Amar Singh, Gregory Siewdial, Q. Farraouq, Akeem Dodson and K. Nandalall. James Manbahal of Bahal’s Custom Homes will serve as team manager, while Gary Nascimento is the designated coach. Rounding out the Demerara management team are Krish Prasad, Rudy Persaud and yours truly. New York Region youth coach Linden Fraser will act as the day’s physiotherapist
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