Vishaul Singh was among the leading batsmen in the Inter-county Four-day competition and was duly rewarded with a spot on the Guyana’s squad
WICB Regional Four-day competition…
By Avenash Ramzan
With the NAGICO Super50 done and dusted, the regional cricketers will now switch focus to the longer version, commencing battle in the West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) Regional Four-day competition on February 28.
While the Bajans would look to maintain their supremacy, having won the title last year under the leadership of Kirk Edwards, ending five consecutive years of dominance by Jamaica, the other teams would no doubt want to unseat the men from the Land of the Flying Fish.
In the midst of hunting glory for their country, the cricketers would obviously look to enhance their reputation with the aim of nudging the West Indies senior selection panel headed by the former West Indies off-spinner, Clyde Butts.
One such player is Vishaul Anthony Singh.
A diminutive left-handed middle-order batsman, the 25-year-old Singh was recalled to the Guyana squad earlier this week after a hiatus of close to three years.
The Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) batsman played the last of his nine First-Class matches against Trinidad and Tobago at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, in March 2011 after amassing just 192 runs from six games during the regional season that year.
An average of 17.45 with one half-century- 66 versus Barbados at Providence, which remains his highest score- did not do justice to his ability and certainly did not justify the faith the selectors placed in him.
Back in business
Almost three years after, Singh is back in the reckoning, and this time he is determined to make it count.
Placed in charge of the Guyana Cricket Board’s President’s XI during last year’s Inter-county Four-day competition, Singh reminded the selectors of his pedigree by chalking up scores of 55, 100 not out, 83 and 12.
It was the sort of performance they could not ignore, handing Singh another opportunity to prove his worth on the regional stage.
“It feels good to be back after a few years’ absence,” Singh told this publication on Wednesday. “I worked very hard during the off-season, both physically and on my game, and I got the results I was hoping for in the Inter-county and now I’ve been rewarded with a recall.”
Quizzed on his initial reaction upon hearing the news of his recall, Singh said, “I was very happy as my hard work had paid off and representing Guyana is always a privilege.”
Singh said once he makes the final XI, his aim would be to score his maiden First-Class hundred, as well as do his part to ensure Guyana cop the coveted title, which has been eluding the South Americans since the 1997-1998 season when they shared top honours with the Leeward Islands.
“Well I think we are at full strength, so as long as everyone plays his role we could bring home the title for Guyana,” Singh reckoned.
Led by Leon Johnson, the 13-man Guyana squad includes nine players who have represented the senior West Indies team in various formats. Only Singh, fast bowlers Ronsford Beaton and Keon Joseph and wicket-keeper Anthony Bramble have not worn the maroon.
After nine First-Class games, Singh has ammassed 299 runs at a disappointing average of 17.58 with just one half-century. With a middle-order boasting the likes of veteran quartet Chanderpaul, Sarwan, Deonarine and Johnson, Singh’s opportunities might be limited.
Nevertheless, he is aware that a spot in the starting XI comes with tremendous responsibility, a situation he is looking to face head-on when the opportunity presents itself.
After all, Singh’s ultimate goal is to cement his place in the Guyana team. The journey starts on February 28 when the Guyanese take on Jamaica at Sabina Park.
The Guyana squad for the first round reads: Sewnarine Chattergoon, Assad Fudadin, Leon Johnson (captain), Ramnaresh Sarwan, Narsingh Deonarine, Shivnarine Chanderpaul (vice-captain), Anthony Bramble, Christopher Barnwell, Veerasammy Permaul, Devendra Bishoo, Ronsford Beaton, Keon Joseph and Vishaul Singh. The manager is Alvin Johnson and the coach is Esaun Crandon.