AFTER FOUR years in the cricket wilderness, during which time he has been racking up the scores for Albion Cricket Club and even Berbice in the Guyana Cricket Board four team tournaments, pugnacious middle order batsman Jonathan Foo has made a return to the national cricket team.The 24 year old Foo, who burst onto the Regional scene in 2010 with his boisterous hitting which guided Guyana to the inaugural West Indies Cricket Board Caribbean T20 title, was named in the Guyana Jaguars 14 man squad which will contest the WICB/Professional Cricket League NAGICO Super50 tournament and will be released soon by Cricket Guyana Inc.Eight teams will do battle for supremacy out of two groups, with the Jaguars being placed in group ‘A’ alongside defending champions Barbados Pride, Windward Islands Volcanoes and the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC), all of whom they will meet in the preliminary round when the action bowls off on 15th January, with the Jaguars facing the Volcanoes at the picturesque Queen’s Park Oval.
Foo’s last 50 overs match was in the 2010 Regional one day tournament with his final match being against T&T at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, contributing 8 out of Guyana’s 200 for 9, before he was lbw to spin wizard Sunil Narine, a game the Guyanese lost.
After that game, he played three T20 matches against CCC, Barbados and T&T, aggregating 26 runs a far cry from his exhilarating performance in the 2010 competition, when he singlehandedly guided Guyana to the title and a subsequent place in the ICC Champions League in South Africa.
His maturity over the period of time he was in the cricket wilderness from the national team, has a lot to do with the management of Albion Cricket Club, whom with programmes and guidance, help nurtured Foo and several other cricketers, preparing them for national duties at various age groups.
Also included in the Guyana Jaguars lineup for the regional limited overs tournament is dependable West Indies middle order batsman in the 40 year old Shivnarine Chanderpaul, whose 18 year old son Tagenarine Chanderpaul along with Shimron Hetmyer and Kemo Paul will don the maroon for the West Indies youth team in the NAGICO Super50 tournament.
The elder Chanderpaul is expected to open the batting, as he did in last year’s tournament, alongside temperamental opener Trevon Griffith and will have Everest Cricket Club’s seasonal opener Rajendra Chandrika as an alternate, as he is also named in the 14 man squad.
With the absence of the left handed trio in Assad Fudadin (injured), Leon Johnson and Narsingh Deonarine (West Indies duties), Georgetown Cricket Club’s Vishaul Singh along with Foo, Raymond Reifer, Christopher Barnwell and Royston Crandon who are all named in the squad, will be expected to contribute with the bat from the middle order.
Steven Jacobs will lead the lower order batting with support from wicketkeeper/batsman Anthony Bramble who can also deputize as an opener, while spin twins Veerasammy Permaul and Devendra Bishoo, who are no rabbits with the bat, will be expected to add respectability to the lower order batting as well.
West Indies ‘A’ fast bowler Ronsford Beaton and Paul Wintz were the talk of the tournament last year as Guyana’s new ball pair and with amicable support from Reifer and Barnwell, backed by Permaul and Bishoo who will be supported by Jacobs and Crandon, the Jaguars have the necessary artillery to bring back the prey to the Land of Many Waters.
Judging from the stellar manner in which he led the team in their two matches in the WICB/PCL Regional four- day tournament in the absence of Johnson, Singh is expected to be given the reigns of the team for this tournament as well, even as both Jacobs (CCC) and Barnwell (Guyana) also have the capabilities to lead the side
The team will be involved in two practice matches on Wednesday and Friday at a venues to be named, before departing for the Twin Island Republic on Tuesday 13th January and swing into action two days later when they oppose the Volcanoes at the picturesque Queen’s Park Oval in their first match.
The Guyana Jaguars 14 man squad reads: Vishaul Singh (captain), Trevon Griffith, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Rajendra Chandrika, Christopher Barnwell, Jonathan Foo, Steven Jacobs, Royston Crandon, Raymond Reifer, Anthony Bramble, Devendra Bishoo, Veerasammy Permaul, Paul Wintz and Ronsford Beaton.