Ramnaresh Sarwan watches the ball keenly during Thursday’s net session at Everest
– second warm-up game set for today
By Avenash Ramzan
Head coach of the Guyana senior cricket team, Esaun Crandon, believes preparations ahead of participation in the West Indies Cricket Board’s NAGICO Super50 competition are progressing well, as the Guyanese gear up to hunt for a 10th regional 50-over title.
Speaking to Guyana Times Sport in the midst of a mid-afternoon net session at the Everest Cricket Club ground, the former First-Class fast bowler said he is satisfied with progress made so far, although he pointed out that much more needs to be done in the coming weeks to ensure the players reach peak condition.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul is watchful as he faces up to fast bowler Andre Stoll (Photos: Avenash Ramzan)
This is the second phase of preparation, which started on January 3 and will last until January 25, and the Guyana Cricket Board has solicited the services of fitness trainers Patrick King and Carl Stephenson to work along with the players with the aim of upping their fitness level.
Crandon was quick to embrace the move by the board to have King and Stephenson part of the camp, while acknowledging that he has already seen signs of improvement in the squad.
“Yes definitely things have been going well and I’m satisfied with the progress we have made so far in the camp,” Crandon said.
He added, “From the first day of the fitness sessions to now, there has been improvements and I think we can only get better as the tournament draws closer. We have a great bunch of guys at the moment and we’re doing all we can to ensure they get in top condition for the tournament.”
All-rounder Christopher Barnwell drives down t he ground
While fitness has been brought into sharp focus, Crandon is also keen on ensuring there is “camaraderie” among the players, and as such, will be using the next five warm-up games to get the players to understand their roles and functions.
The first practice game was held on Tuesday at the Everest Cricket Club ground, while the second match will be hosted today at the same venue.
“Once the 14 is selected we will be using the next set of warm-up games to get the players to understand their roles so that when we get there [the tournament] everybody is clear on their function in the team,” Crandon explained.
The NAGICO Super50 competition will be held from January 30 to February 17 in Trinidad and Tobago, featuring Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, the Windward Islands, the Leeward Islands, the Combined Campuses and Colleges and ICC affiliate side Ireland.
Guyana last won the title in 2005 when a Sewnarine Chattergoon century spurred the hosts to victory over Barbados in near darkness in the KFC Cup final at the GCC ground, Bourda.