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2008 Ed Ahmad Cup
Team Guyana Decimates New York XI
Cush and Dhaniram Match Heroes


By John L. Aaron

June 19th, 2008
The annual Ed Ahmad New York Cricket Cup kicked off last weekend practically where it left off last year, with Guyana romping all over the opposition. (Gallery)

With the withdrawal of the Leeward and Windward Islands’ teams from this year’s tournament, along with Team India not making an appearance in the past two tournaments, the Ed Ahmad committee agreed to introduce a team comprising players who may have been disenfranchised, or opted to not be a part of the traditional squads of representative teams. Thus, a New York XI was introduced, with the stipulation that no more than four Guyanese players play in any one match at any given time. The compromise was agreed upon, following the vehement objections by Team Guyana officials to the addition of the team, managed mainly by Guyanese.


Lennox Cush drives during his innings of 57 off 34 deliveries, that included 8x4s and 1x6.
Photo by Steve Mangru

Setting Fears Aside
It was generally believed that an effort was being made to replicate the existing Guyana team in the tournament, and seek to attract that existing team’s top players.

According to those managing the New York XI team, the introduction of the team was intended to maintain the same high quality of the tournament, with the withdrawal of so many top quality players. A withdrawal attributed to the main sponsor not facilitating a combined Ed Ahmad Cup XI tour to the Caribbean last year, a charge denied by the grand sponsor, who attributed a tour to Guyana by a Guyanese-only team as being solely the arrangement of that team’s managers. Nonetheless, the aggrieved group felt disenfranchised and chose not to participate in this year’s tournament, despite the pleadings of the tournament committee’s Chairman and others.

Last Saturday’s Twenty20 New York XI included the maximum four Guyanese Zamin Amin (Capt.), Marlon Kallicharran, Anil Seebarran and Imran Ali, along with Vernon Dumas, William Perkins, Ricky Toussaint, Hunan Munir, Earl Grant, Curtis Baptiste and L. Seriaux, representing the Leeward and Windward Islands, Pakistan, Barbados, and Trinidad & Tobago. A quality line up indeed, however the hastily arranged team was not truly representative of the quality of players still available with no place to go in the tournament, because of the now limited number of teams available.

The New York XI was viewed by some as a rebel team intent on gaining inroads into the Guyanese team, hardly possible with only four Guyanese allowed to be in each final eleven selected. There is no scarcity of top-quality Guyanese players around, so the Guyana team should be the least worried about protecting its identified players. Anything else smacks of a restriction of free trade and open market enterprise. The addition of the New York XI can only enhance the quality of matches and the caliber of performances in the premier tournament.

Dhaniram and Cush Dominate
From the opening bell of the Twenty20 contest, the Guyana team sought to establish supremacy by pounding the New York XI’s bowlers. Lennox Cush was in dominating form, hitting 57, including 8x4s and 1x6 off 34 deliveries, Sudesh Dhaniram was equally punishing blasting 66 not out off 35 deliveries and including 4x6s and 4x4s. The duo was supported by a patient knock of 24 from Prasad Mahadeo. Skipper Steve Massiah exited early have scored only eight runs, while the only other batsman to face the New York XI was Clain Williams, who scored six.

Guyana reached 170 for three off their allotted 20 overs, with the three scalps shared by Hunain Munir 4-0-36-2 and Curtis Baptiste 4-0-28-1. The New York XI’s bowlers never appeared to have the gas in their tanks to take them the distance, giving up 12x4’s and 5x6s at the expansive Floyd Bennett Cricket ground.

Manager Peter Jolly is convinced that the team will get stronger as the tournament progresses, while coach Sew Shivnarine is expected to recommend some changes in the line up for the next match scheduled for July 12.

Asking A Lot
With the asking rate at 8.5 runs per over, a lot was expected of Trinidad & Tobago’s young batting gun William Perkins in New York to represent Atlantis Cricket Club, and just called up for the West Indies’ Twenty20 squad against Australia.

Perkins opening with Marlon Kallicharran was faced with some fearsome bowling from Kevin Darlington and Telston Johnson, as the opening pair unleashed a barrage of heat seekers on the vulnerable Perkins and Kallicharran. The latter was the first to go after never looking quite comfortable against the pace attack. Kallicharran’s single came at the end of seven dot balls faced, and followed by his dismissal. Perkins brought a lot to bear from his experience in the Stanford Twenty20 tournaments and the championship caliber T&T national squad, as he soldiered on to make 16, the second highest individual score of his team’s innings.

Imran Ali, a reliable and experienced batsman and hard-hitter of the ball joined Perkins but did not last beyond the first delivery, as he was caught off Darlington who would end up with figures of 4-0-17-2. According to the sideline pundits, Ali should have opened the batting with Perkins.

With the exception of an aggressive 19 runs from L. Seriaux and a defiant 12 from Ricky Toussaint, the rest of the New York XI batsmen looked mediocre, failing to individually reach double figures, as the team was bundled all out at 77 off 15.5 overs. The low scoring inning was a devastating blow to a team that had promised so much, but whom no doubt will rebound from the blows inflicted by the indomitable Guyana XI.

Lennox Cush was the most successful of the Guyanese bowlers with figures of 3-0-16-4, closely followed by Sudesh Dhaniram who enjoyed figures of 2-0-11-2. The duo was the wrecking balls of the Guyana performance, while Johnson and Bhim George rounded out the scalps with one wicket apiece.

The next round of the Ed Ahmad Cup matches is scheduled for Saturday, July 12. Match venues will be announced shortly.
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