GUYANA has not won a regional one-day title in almost 12 years, but skipper of the Guyana Jaguars, Leon Johnson promised that his charges will give a 100 percent when the 2017 NAGICO Super50 tournament bowls off on Tuesday.
Johnson made the comment prior to the team’s departure yesterday morning for Barbados to begin their campaign.
“What I can assure the Guyanese people is that we will give a 100 percent, with the aim of bringing back the title,” Johnson stressed.
Guyana last won a regional 50-over title back in 2005 when they won a thriller in fading light against Barbados at the Georgetown Cricket Club ground, Bourda, but from all accounts, it seems that the upcoming tournament can bring different fortunes for the side.
Both head coach, Easun Crandon and team manager, Rayon Griffith acknowledged that their expectancy of the squad is high, since they feel the squad is well prepared for the challenge.
“Definitely we are well prepared,” said Griffith. “The weather in my opinion did not had any bad effect for us in terms of our preparation. We got enough work done because the main areas we had it cover, where the batters get to bat and the bowlers get to bowl, we also had some physical and some fielding as well, so overall I am very satisfied, and I think the board has done well in providing the necessary assistant”.
Crandon, who was confident as he described his team, said that they are fully focussed on the task ahead.
The former Guyana fast bowler has pointed to teamwork as a key component if the team is to reclaim the regional Super50 title.
Meanwhile, Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Secretary Anand Sanasie, in delivering the charge to the team at the Windjammer Hotel in Kitty before they departed for the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, urged them to return home with the title.
He stressed that even though the Guyana Jaguars have been a dominant force in the longer version of the game, the shorter version has excluded them for some time now.
“I once told you that winning is a habit, and I think you have done that, you have achieved winning as a habit, but this particular tournament for some reason or the other always excluded us. I think now is the time to bring that back,” the GCB Secretary said.
Sanasie is of the opinion that the success now depends on the players, since Cricket Guyana Inc. and the GCB have done everything to have them prepared. He pointed out that the franchise has been working and has been good for Guyana’s cricket.
Also on hand to wish the team every success was GCB Treasurer Anand Kalladeen, who urged the players to play to their full potential, since an England tour to the West Indies is immediately after the tournament. England is set to play three One Day Internationals on March 3, 5 and 9.
The Guyana Jaguars will do battle in Group B of the Super50 which runs from January 24 to February 18 in Antigua and Barbados.
Group B comprises last year losing finalists Barbados Pride, Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners, Jamaica Scorpions,Guyana Jaguars and ICC Americas.
In the first leg, Jaguars will play Pride on January 24, Scorpions on January 26, Marooners on January 28, and ICC Americas on January 30.
In the second leg, the Guyana-based franchise takes on the Marooners February 3, Pride on February 5, Scorpions on February 7, and ICC Americas on February 9.
The semi-finals would be on February 15 and 16 while the final would be on February 18 in Antigua.
Title-holders Trinidad & Tobago Red Force, Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Windward Islands Volcanoes, the West Indies U-19s, and visiting English County Kent Spitfires have been installed in Group A.
Prior to 2005, Guyana reigned supreme in 1980, 1983, 1985, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2001 and 2003.
The Guyana Jaguars squad reads: Leon Johnson (Captain), Veerasammy Permaul (Vice-Captain), Anthony Bramble (Wkp), Shimron Hetmyer, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Christopher Barnwell, Raymon Reifer, Rajendra Chandrika, Steven Jacobs, Assad Fudadin, Devendra Bishoo, Ronsford Beaton, Paul Wintz and Jonathan Foo.
Management Staff: Esaun Crandon (Head-coach), Rayon Griffith (Assistant-Coach) and Ernesto Gonzalez (Physiotherapist).