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Pakistan’s Emergence Most Welcome In Ahmad Series

By Orin Davidson

As the cricket season winds down this year, it is with some measure of relief the premier New York competition did not end in another Guyana domination.

The Ed Ahmad Caribbean Cup has landed in Guyana’s hands with more regularity than the scripted Steve Massiah century that unfolds whenever the United States faces foreign opposition.

Pakistan came into its own this year to shake up the establishment with its two runner-up placings, in a gratifying development.

In defeating Guyana in the 50 overs a side series semi-finals, Pakistan maintained high interest in the competition by emphatically stating that Guyana cannot afford to allow complacency to get in the way of their campaign.

Although the defending champions were missing a number of their core players including Massiah and Lennox Cush, they were still expected to roll over, the pretenders to the crown.

The result is now history.

Guyana were knocked off their pedestal and had to be content the lesser of the two prizes from the inaugural 20 overs competition.

Much kudos is in order for the S&A Sports Store which almost overnight transformed a struggling Pakistan team from 2005 into contenders this year with its support for the team.

They maintained the country’s rich tradition for the sport and in the process averted a monopoly that was developing through Guyana’s dominance in the past.

It is a pity a similar transformation cannot be had for the India team which has failed to impact since contesting the 2003 series.

Like Guyana, Trinidad and the other West Indian islands, many players of Indian origin are scattered around the city and it is surprising a benefactor has not emerged to organize and fund them into a strong unit, in the manner of S&A Sports is doing for Pakistan.

Trinidad seems to be making a determined effort to match Guyana in commitment if one is to judge from the number of players they fly in from the West Indies every year.
That is also very commendable.

It makes for a bigger and better Ahmad series every succeeding year.

Hopefully the Barbados and Jamaica authorities can follow suit with greater consistency.

New York Under-19s
Within two weeks New York’s Under-19 team will be going for its second straight title in the National Junior competition in Fort Lauderdale.

From all appearances the squad seems to be gelling into a well oiled unit under the eyes of coach Linden Fraser and manager Rudy Persaud.

But more importantly, the squad is getting the best chance to succeed because no effort was spared to have the very best players selected.

This is very encouraging indeed.

Coach Fraser has been given it seems, a free hand in coming up with the perfect balance.

In so doing the New York Region must be commended for doing the right thing as Fraser knows the players better than anyone out there.

An example of Fraser’s objectivity, is the selection of Barbadian Dwayne Smith, who was snapped up while merely spending time in the Big Apple, without any hurdles of bias being erected to smother the allrounder’s inclusion.

It is a pity the same machinery is not in place for the handling of the senior squad.
Orin Davidson Column Homepage

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