Former national player predicts triumph for Guyana
By Ravendra Madholall in Toronto
Former Guyana Under-19 vice-captain Troy Gobin believes Guyana has the right combination of players to emerge
champions of the upcoming West Indies Cricket Board’s NAGICO Super50, billed for January 30 to February 15 in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Guyanese, who have failed to lift the trophy for the past eight years, will start off their campaign against International Cricket Council affiliated team, Ireland on January 31.
With the inclusion of veteran batsmen Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan, Gobin believes their presence will serve to strengthen the team’s confidence immensely.
“I think Guyana definitely has a balanced team and with Shiv and Ramnaresh around those players have the ability to bring success for the team,” Gobin said from his home in North York, Toronto.
He also spoke greatly of the lone newcomer in the squad, Robin Bacchus, whom he considered a dashing batsman. Gobin believes once Bacchus plays to the best of his natural talent, he can be a great member of the Guyana unit.
“He is one of the young batsmen in the team and having the senior guys around him, that should propel some amount of confidence in him to start off his career at the top; I have seen him in Guyana playing club cricket and the way he stroke the ball was very impressive and he showed lots of aggression too, so I think we can look out for him,” the right-handed Gobin asserted.
After emerging as champion in 2005 at home, the last time they won the competition, the Guyanese have been very vivacious and feverish with their preparations with a number of practice matches. They have placed in Group A alongside Jamaica, the Windward Islands and Ireland.
“It will be a very challenging competition given the fact all the players will be on show, but as I said Guyana can be very dominant once they play to their true ability; Chris Barnwell is a good selection to lead the side and that allows all the seasoned players to focus more on their game,” Gobin, who has played professionally in Canada over the past decade, said.
Quizzed on what he thinks will be some of the challenges in Trinidad and Tobago, Gobin, without hesitation, stated that the pitches can be very tricky.
“When you’re playing away from home, pitches and conditions are always a factor, but I think the players will adapt quickly and with many good fast and spin bowlers ready to display their game, that will be very challenging as well, but Guyana can be very confident with their batting line-up,” Gobin expressed.
Gobin also expressed surprise at the continued omission of Sarwan from the West Indies team, noting that the elegant right-hander still has plenty to offer to the regional side, particularly in the 50-over version.
The 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.