FOLLOWING his predictable maiden call-up to the Guyana Jaguars squad for the sixth round game against Jamaica Scorpions in the West Indies Cricket Board’s Professional Cricket League (PCL) four-day competition, 19-year-old Keemo Paul hopes to grab the opportunity with both hands.
Paul replaces fellow all-rounder Christopher Barnwell and is the only new face in a 13-man squad, released by the Guyana Cricket Board on Saturday afternoon.
In an exclusive interview, the former West Indies Under-19 vice-captain said that the selection is another opportunity for him to play alongside the region’s best players.
“I must thank the selectors for showing faith in me and putting me in the four-day squad; it’s a very good feeling. This is a very big opportunity for me to play alongside senior players like Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Leon Johnson, guys that you look up to,” Paul said.
Once given the opportunity to play, the Saxacalli, Essequibo River-born resident disclosed that he is fit and ready to showcase his talent.
“I will try to gain as much possible knowledge from these guys and definitely try to improve my game; I’m just looking to grab this opportunity with both hands and make it count and try to be consistent as possible”.
He added, “I’m ready, I have been training hard, going to the gym, eating healthy and I’m 100% fit and I’m just ready to go show what I can do,” Paul assured.
There is no question about Paul’s talent. The all-rounder has represented Guyana at all the youth levels. His enormous performances at the Under-19 level earned him a place in the West Indies Under-19 team for the 2016 Youth World Cup.
Subsequently, Paul was one of three over-aged player to have featured in the West Indies Youth team that competed in the recently concluded Super50 competition.
In the Super50, he made 139 runs from 11 innings, including a highest 72 against English county side Kent Spitfire.
He also picked up 10 wickets at 27 apiece, with a best of 4-31 against Windward Islands Volcanoes. Paul had a four-wicket haul against Leeward Islands Hurricanes.
Meanwhile, Romario Shepherd, has been drafted into the squad, who leave this morning for the Reggae Island.
The game, which bowls off on Friday, is a top-of-the-table clash. Scorpions, with three wins and a loss and a draw have 67.6 points, while Jaguars, with two wins, one loss and two drawn encounters are in second spot on 64.4 points.
Barbados Pride (47.2), Windward Islands Volcanoes (41.6), Leeward Islands Hurricanes (39.4) and Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (35.6) complete the table.
The Guyana Jaguars squad reads: Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Shimron Hetmyer, Leon Johnson (captain), Vishaul Singh, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Raymon Reifer, Anthony Bramble, Romario Shepherd, Veerasammy Permaul, Gudakesh Motie, Keon Joseph, Rajendra Chandrika and Keemo Paul.