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Stanford Twenty20 Superstars Tournament
Lennox Cush Among US$Million Hopefuls

By John L. Aaron

August 14, 2008
Following the last of seven practice matches last night at the Stanford Cricket Ground in Antigua, the Stanford Superstars selection panel headed by Sir Vivian Richards announced a Stanford Superstars 17-man squad, from which a final XI will be selected to compete in the November 1 Stanford Superstars US$20Milion Twenty20 winner-takes-all match against England’s national Twenty20 side, and at the same venue in Coolidge, Antigua.


Lennox Cush (Photo by Shiek Mohamed)

Among the seventeen players hoping to gain final selection is New York’s Lennox Cush. The all-rounder represents Guyana, the USA and New York’s Atlantis Cricket Club. He has recently however, been more productive in the area of bowling, enjoying a solid two-week Twenty20 camp that concluded yesterday. Selected as part of a 32-man squad for the two-week camp, Cush returned stingy bowling figures of under five runs per over during the training camp, which no doubt resulted in his selection.

Lennox Cush, along with William Perkins were two of the 32-man training squad summoned by the Stanford selectors, and whom many New York cricket fans would have had a chance to see up-close in the last two months, as both players represented Atlantis Cricket Club in the Eastern American Cricket Association’s 2008 league season. Unfortunately, Perkins did not make the final 17-man roster. According to some who saw his performances in the Stanford Twenty20 training camp, his shot selections were somewhat injudicious and hurried, something the very aggressive and challenging batsman known as “Shotgun Perkins,” will have to temper.

The 22-year old Perkins has sometime to grow and learn from his mistakes, and can still possibly earn a piece of future US$20Million purses, as Stanford plans on offering US20Million winner-takes-all contests over the next five years. Perkins has had some outstanding performances representing Trinidad & Tobago in the Stanford Twenty20 tournaments so far; with an even 50 not out to his credit in a one-sided championship final against Jamaica earlier this year, where he delighted the capacity crowd at the Stanford Cricket Ground in Antigua. He later made his Twenty20 debut for the West Indies against Australia in Barbados, in June of this year. The young man has a bright future ahead of him and would do very well, if properly encouraged.

Cush has also enjoyed some marvelous moments in the Stanford Twenty20 tournament during the past two years representing his native Guyana, but none more memorable than his hat-trick against Jamaica in the semi-final match, in February of this year. Cush’s figures in that match were 4-0-8-3 claiming the first hat-trick of the two-year old tournament which nets the winning championship team US$1Million. A feat so far accomplished by Cush’s team Guyana and Daren Ganga’s Trinidad & Tobago XI earlier this year.

The 34-year old Cush recently represented the United States of America in the ICC’s Division 5 WCL tournament in Jersey, where he unfortunately did not see much action, before returning to the USA to captain Atlantis in the current Eastern American Cricket Association’s 2008 season. With 38 first-class matches under his belt, and a batting average of just under 21 runs per inning and a high score of 154, the right-arm off-break bowler has 26 wickets to his credit averaging 42.3 runs per.

A very crafty bowler and student of the game, Cush has on several occasions helped his team, either with the bat or ball. However, his guile as a bowler makes him a stand out more than his exploits with the bat. He’s has represented the nation of Guyana in the KFC Cup, a premier championship series in the West Indies, while being a mainstay of the New York Guyana XI in the Ed Ahmad Caribbean Cricket Cup, and has on several occasions captured the MVP and other awards for outstanding contributions to the latter squad.

Cush made his first-class debut in 1995 at age 21, having played for Maltenoes Sports Club in Guyana; one of the oldest cricketing clubs in that South American nation. Over the years he has played extensively in the Trinidad & Tobago semi-pro leagues, capturing several awards for outstanding performances. Considered a utility player by many, Cush has also stood out in the role of opening bat for the Guyana national side, a clear indication of his worth to any team looking for all-round contributors.

In recent times Lennox Cush has shown a penchant for the shorter form of the game, relishing the opportunity to be a match-winner, or at least change the tide of a game, single-handily. His ability to anticipate a batsman’s mind-set through the latter’s body language and approach to stroke play, gives him (Cush) a decidedly upper hand in the duel between batsman and bowler, a trait that should serve him well in his quest to earn the biggest payday of his career in the upcoming Stanford Superstars duel with the Englishmen.

Billionaire businessman Sir Allen Stanford has offered financial asset management support to all of the Caribbean players, should they strike it rich on November 1, 2008. The very astute business magnate in an earlier statement said that he wanted the players to manage their money wisely, and therefore was offering them the support of the financial management team of his Stanford Group of Companies.

Each player on the winning team is expected to take away US$1Million, unprecedented in the history of the sport, and not bad for playing a game they all love so dearly.

The full Stanford Superstars squad is: Lionel Baker (Montserrat), Sulieman Benn (Barbados), Dwayne Bravo (Trinidad and Tobago), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (Guyana), Lennox Cush (Guyana), Rayad Emrit (Trinidad and Tobago), Andre Fletcher (Grenada), Chris Gayle (Jamaica), Chad Hampson (Antigua and Barbuda), Lindon James (St Vincent and the Grenadines), Sylvester Joseph (Antigua and Barbuda), Xavier Marshall (Jamaica), Dave Mohammed (Trinidad and Tobago), Kieron Pollard (Trinidad and Tobago), Daren Powell (Jamaica),Ramnaresh Sarwan (Guyana) and Jerome Taylor (Jamaica).

According to Sir Vivian Richards, chairman of the Stanford Superstars Selection Panel, “We believe this squad is very capable of doing justice to their selection to the Stanford Superstars squad to face England for the unprecedented purse of US$20million.”

The legendary Antiguan and West Indies batting maestro added, “There are several familiar faces in this Stanford Superstars squad but there are some exciting new additions such as Lindon James, Lionel Baker and Chad Hampson and this was due to the fact that there were some high quality performances from these individuals in the Stanford 20/20 Tournaments and they were also very impressive in the just concluded Stanford Superstars camp.”

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