Guyana has not tasted success at the regional first-class level since 1998, when they won the last of six titles against Barbados at the Kensington Oval.
However, the squad will head for Jamaica this morning to contest their first match in the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Four-Day Tournament, starting on Friday.
The Guyanese will open their campaign against Jamaica at Sabina Park, beginning at 10:00h (11:00h Eastern Caribbean time).
Guyana finished at the bottom of the points table last year, with their only win being against the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC). Guyana drew with the Leeward Islands in their opening game, but suffered defeats at the hands of Barbados, Windward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica.
Last year, Leon Johnson was the top Guyanese run scorer with 430 from six matches, with a highest score of 87, while Assad Fudadin (289) was Guyana’s next best batsman.
Veerasammy Permaul, with 30 wickets, Devendra Bishoo, 20 and Steven Jacobs, 17 were Guyana’s most successful bowlers.
On the other hand, after a disappointed NAGICO Super50 tournament, the national selectors have made three changes, at least for the opening game.
Batsmen Vishal Singh and former Test player Sewnarine Chattergoon, along with fast bowler Keon Joseph have replaced Royston Crandon, Trevon Griffith, Robin Bacchus and Paul Wintz.
Flashback: Former West Indies captains Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul and some of the other members of the squad during a training session (Guyana Times file photo)
Meanwhile, Manager Alvin Johnson is confident that the team will make amends from their disappointed NAGICO Super50 tournament.
He firmly believes that the team will use their semi-final exist from the NAGICO Super50 tournament to push them on in going aggressively after their seventh title at this level.
Other first round matches will see defending champions Barbados playing the Windward Islands at the Beausejour Cricket Ground in a day/night match, the first of nine to be played this season.
The Leeward Islands and the CCC will start their season on March 1 at Warner Park in St Kitts.
Trinidad and Tobago open their season in the second round when they host the Windward Islands at the Queen’s Park Oval, starting on March 7.
The semi-finals are scheduled for April 19-22 and the final from April 25-28.
This year, the tournament will see the introduction of a batting and bowling points system in an effort to encourage positive play, according to the WICB.
Teams will be awarded batting and bowling points for performances in the first 110 overs of each first innings only and retained whatever the result of the match.
The WICB said that the teams will be playing for two trophies this year. The team that accumulates the most points following the seven preliminary round matches will be awarded the WICB President’s Trophy and will qualify as one of four teams for the semi-finals of the tournament to play for the George Headley/Everton Weekes Trophy.
Barbados claimed an unprecedented 21st regional first-class title, following an innings and 22 runs victory over long-standing, sporting arch-rivals Trinidad and Tobago with a day-and-a-half remaining in the final last May on home soil, Kensington Oval.
Members of the Guyana squad are: 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 Vishal Singh. The coach is Esuan Crandon.