Clain Williams (far right) doing the gloves work for Big Apple Cricket Club in New York City. Photos by Shiek Mohamed

By Ravendra Madholall in Toronto
Thirty-two-year-old Clain Williams realized the importance of mental toughness and that has been an area that responsible for Essequibo’s steady downfall over the past decades.

They lacked it badly and outplayed by their opponents, Berbice and Demerara at the inter-county levels in the annual Guyana Cricket Board tournaments coming out with some pathetic performances.

Williams, a former Essequibo under-19 batsman, currently resides in United States of America (USA) and already donned in that country’s colors. From another territory, the right-hander still sees the difference in Essequibo’s cricket.

Clain williams representing Big Apple CC batting against Richmond Hill CC during the 2013 cricket season.

“Essequibo cricket future depends on the willingness of the cricketers to work on themselves to be physically and mentally fit to take on the so-called giants like Berbice and Demerara who are decorated with test players, and most players I know get nervous before the game,” Williams lamented.

He continued: “And if they are mentally defeated it will follow on the field while the coaches can only do so much, if you really want to make an impression, you the individual must work on your game as well.”

Over the years, despite their regular participation, Essequibo has failed miserably to match their skills at the various levels against the two counties and something must be done drastically to help lift the standard of the game, according to Williams.|

Having represented USA in several International Cricket Council (ICC) Associated divisional matches since making his debut in 2010, Williams expressed great pleasure of featuring in the country’s colors as well.

However, he reserved special mention to the politics that he vehemently feels affecting the game largely. “The cricket is not where it should be, politics ‘killing’ the cricket, and I thought it was bad in Guyana but it’s really worse up here surprisingly,” Williams revealed via email.

From where he left off in Essequibo rating as a very destructive opening batsman, Williams continued to ply his trade in North America and has been a dominant batsman throughout his career there.

He asserted the game is quite competitive and he enjoyed it on the field to a great degree but is still disgruntled with the way things have been preceding off field. Notwithstanding that, Williams stated that he wants to make a big impact by scoring more consistently in this summer.

Born in Reliance, Essequibo Coast, Region 2, Williams, honed most of his cricketing skills at Anna Regina Community Centre ground while he represented Anna Regina Multilateral Secondary School at that level with brilliant success too.

He was very thankful to the late Courtney Gonsalves, a former Guyana fast bowler and Essequibo senior inter-county coach, who played a pivotal role in seeing the rapid development of Williams.

“I dedicate my career to Courtney Gonsalves a great coach, he made a cricketer out of me, I was just a little boy who he just took under his wings and made me the cricketer I turned out to be, I definitely owe it to him,” Williams related.

Following the sudden death of former Guyana player Shivanandan Madholall, Williams is still shock with his former teammate. He commented that Madholall was a fantastic team member and reminiscing the days they both played at a national trial.

Williams scored consistently and heavily but was still ignored by the selectors. He said that year (1999) is still unforgettable given the fact he made the most runs and still he did not find favor with the selectors.

“In that trial game, I scored a century (138) and then went on to make few half-centuries and still did not make the team; Madholall played a supporting role in one of the games and I think he made 70 plus runs; after the game he gave me a bat, and to learn of his death was very shocking,” Williams declared.

Meanwhile, Williams is among the large number of cricketers coming out of Reliance to represent Essequibo inter-county teams from under-15, 16, 17, 19 and the senior combination. Some of the names are as follows: Clain Williams, Rovendra Mandolall, Shawn and Motie Narine (unrelated), Charlie Austin, Shivanandan Madholall (decease), Rovindra Parasram, Alfred Maycock, Ryan Amsterdam, Narindra Madholall, Balchand Shivamber (decease), Renford Beaton, Lawrence Farnum, Ravendra Madholall, Claude Amsterdam, Avinash Parasram, Chubby Persaud, Prakash Ganpat, Mohindra Boodram, and Rajin Parasram among others.