Guyana’s senior team coach Esaun Crandon says he’s impressed with his squad’s fitness level and is pleased with the general condition of the players as they prepare for the upcoming West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) NAGICO Super50 competition.
During an interview on Saturday at the team’s indoor session held at the Chetram Singh Centre of Excellence at La Bonne Intention, East Coast Demerara, Crandon said several players are now in much better shape than they were when the camp started.
“I am proud to say that the fitness level of the players is at A-1 level at the moment and we are very pleased with that, especially when we look back at the level some of them were when they came into camp,” Crandon observed.
He added, “We secured the services of Guyana Defence Force fitness trainers Patrick King and Carl Stephenson and we have put in some extra training in terms of fitness where some players have definitely improved their fitness from when we started, which is very encouraging.”
He further stated that some players “still have a little way to go but some of them are at a level where they just need to maintain it.”
Christopher Barnwell during his time in the nets on Saturday
Meanwhile, the former national medium-pacer was delighted with his team’s preparations to date.
“We hit the ground running from day one of our encampment. Our preparations have been spot on so far.
We focussed immensely on our strength and conditioning and I think it is safe to say that this is the fittest Guyana team in a long time,” Crandon said.
“We’ve had three practice matches and our bowling and fielding are good. Our batting has been going really well, and hopefully we can carry that form through to the tournament.”
Robin Bacchus going through his paces during Saturday’s net session (Photo: Rajiv Bisnauth)
Given all the positives over the last few weeks, Crandon remains confident about the team’s chances in the tournament.
“We have a good batting unit, as well as some excellent bowlers and once we play as a unit and play the type of cricket we normally play and work to our game plan there is doubt that we can’t come out successful. The team is ready and excited,” Crandon concluded.
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 Christopher 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 Jamaica on February 4, before taking on the defending champions 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.