By Ravendra Madholall in Toronto
The inclusion of veteran batsmen Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan is a tremendous boost for Guyana who should now be more equipped and ready to bring back glory in this abbreviated format.
Their experience coupled with maturity will be great assets for the South American boys who have not been able to win the title since 2005. Chanderpaul coincidently led Guyana to the last triumph at Bourda where they defeated arch-rival Barbados.
The left-hander, who captained West Indies team, will be asked to take up the responsibility since they can count on his reliability while Sarwan, also a former West Indies skipper, has the capability of being dominant and consistent.
Only Sarwan, the elegant right-hander, featured in the just concluded Guyana Cricket Board senior inter-county one-day tournament which was primarily used to name a provincial 37-man squad in preparations for the regional limited-over competition that will commence late January.
Chanderpaul was unavoidably absent due to his commitment with West Indies team on the tours of India and currently New Zealand. His inclusion is very pivotal to Guyana’s success at the next tournament and once he can partner with Sarwan well, Guyana will ultimately benefit.
Their seniority is also factoring since the tournament will attract all the powerhouse teams the likes of Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and defending champion Jamaica. They are the obvious ace batsmen and runs are expected to come in great flurry.
To add to their skills and the power of concentration, both Chanderpaul and Sarwan had participated in a number of successful partnerships for their country and by extension, the West Indies side on international assignments.
Their presence in the team is absolutely profound and with a plethora of other established and one-day specialists are also named, the probability is sky-high of Guyana regain glory amidst the strong oppositions.
Eight years have completed without the championship and they must be aware that they have got a legacy left by some stalwarts to continue. Roy Fredericks, Clive Lloyd, Milton Pydanna, Carl Hooper, Roger Harper and Chanderpaul led Guyana to victories in the past.
The prestigious one-day trophy has been elusive and this group of enthusiastic cricketers should be able to end the eight-year drought but the onus is on these two responsible cricketers. Chanderpaul and Sarwan have played and known each other cricketing characters and it can be utilised to maximum on this occasion.
Despite his continued overlook for the one-day version in the Caribbean side, Chanderpaul has shown the kind of aggression and flamboyance and that should inspire the team’s confidence. Sarwan is another seasoned batsman that the selectors ignored over the past months, but his style can be more than welcomed since he accomplished 50-over centuries for his native country and West Indies.
In the T20 version, both players displayed willingness to be attacking and they done with consummate ease in the last regional tournament, which was run under the auspices of the WICB while only Sarwan appeared in the inaugural CPL T20 competition.
What Chairman of the national selection panel Rayon Griffith stated that fitness is of paramount importance and they guys have responded with great zeal and zest so far and now he hopes this will help inspire the players to make an impression in Trinidad and Tobago at the new-sponsor NAGICO Cup in honor of former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd.
With Chanderpaul and Sarwan have an incredible 656 matches for Guyana in the one-day (List A) version matches, a combination that will definitely spur their other colleagues, can also be an advantage as well.