Wicketkeeper/batsman Anthony Bramble (centre, red trousers) is keen on justifying the selectors’ faith in him (Photo: Avenash Ramzan)
By Rajiv Bisnauth
Wicket-keeper/batsman Anthony Bramble is determined to cement his place in the national team now that he is likely to get an extended run in the side.
With regular wicket-keeper Derwin Christian not finding favour with the selectors in the 14-man squad for the upcoming West Indies Cricket Board’s NAGICO Super50 competition, the 23-year-old has an opportunity to make the spot his own.
“It’s pretty exciting to be in the team ahead of the regular Christian. I want to cement myself in the Guyana side and play as much cricket for Guyana in all three forms.
“My main goal at the moment is working towards the upcoming one day tournament,” Bramble said during an exclusive interview with Guyana Times Sport on Thursday at the Chetram Singh Centre of Excellence at La Bonne Intention, East Coast Demerara.
He added, “I am not getting too far ahead of myself. I want to keep putting in the hard work and I’m looking to cement a place in the team.”
Bramble has been in and out of the national squad in recent years. Since his senior debut on October 15, 2010, he has only managed two First-Class matches and five List A games.
He played both First-Class matches and one List A game in last year’s regional tournament. His List A debut was against the Sagicor High Performance Centre in Jamaica back in 2010.
“It is a critical phase of my career and I am looking for runs and consistency behind the stumps,” he reckoned.
The former national Under-19 player said that preparation leading up to the tournament has been spot on, adding that he is looking to get the most out of the preparation period.
“Our preparations have been very good. I would say spot on. On a personal note I have been working overtime to get my game right up there,” Bramble said.
Bramble believes that the team can produce Guyana’s tenth regional one day title since, according to him, the combination of the squad is well balanced.
“When you looked at the squad it has [Shivnarine] Chanderpaul, [Ramnaresh] Sarwan, [Narsingh] Deonarine in the batting department and [Devendra] Bishoo and [Veerasammy] Permaul in the bowling department, so I feel this is Guyana’s best chance of winning the coveted title,” Bramble opined.
The squad will be led by West Indies Twenty20 all-rounder Christopher Barnwell and includes nine players who have represented the regional side in Tests, One Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20s.
Guyana has the services of the prolific Shivnarine Chanderpaul, former West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan, West Indies middle-order batsmen Narsingh Deonarine and Assad Fudadin, and West Indies A team batsman Leon Johnson in the line-up.
The all-rounders include skipper Barnwell, Royston Crandon, and the likes of Devendra Bishoo, Veersammy Permaul and Paul Wintz.
The bowling also hinges around fast bowlers Ronsford Beaton and Wintz, while Bramble is the lone wicketkeeper.
Former national Under-19 opener Robin Bacchus is the lone newcomer in the team, with fellow left-hander Trevon Griffith being the other opener in the squad.
The NAGICO Super50 competition will be held from January 30 to February 15 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.
The Barnwell-led Guyana team will open its quest for honours against Ireland in a Zone A match on January 31.
The other two teams in Zone A are Jamaica and defending champions the Windward Islands.
The Guyanese will then play the Windward Islands on February 4, before taking on Jamaica on February 8.
When the action bowls off month-end, the Guyanese will be aiming for a 10th regional 50-over title, the last of which was achieved in 2005 when they defeated Barbados in near darkness in the final of the KFC Cup at the GCC ground, Bourda.
Prior to that, Guyana reigned supreme in 1980, 1983, 1985, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2001 and 2003.
Guyana’s 14-man squad reads: Robin Bacchus, Trevon Griffith, Leon Johnson, Shivnarine Chanderpaul (vice-captain), Narsingh Deonarine, Christopher Barnwell (captain), Ramnaresh Sarwan, Royston Crandon, Assad Fudadin, Anthony Bramble (w/k), Devendra Bishoo, Veerasammy Permaul, Ronsford Beaton and Paul Wintz.