… Head coach backs Shiv to boost side’s progress
AFTER registering comprehensive victories from their first four rounds in the Regional Four-Day Championship, an upbeat Guyana Jaguars will look to continue their winning momentum when they face the visiting Leeward Islands Hurricanes from today at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
While the Jaguars’ ruthless run this season is unlikely to be challenged, this fifth round encounter between the two sides promises to be an interesting contest.
The four-time reigning champions have opened up a significant lead at the top, as the first class competition reaches the halfway stage. Their convincing victories have lifted them to 80-2 – 36.6 clear of the now second-placed Hurricanes on 43.6 points.
The Windward Islands Volcanoes remained third in the standings on 42.8 points. Barbados Pride, who were not in action during the last round, remained fourth on 29.8 points with just a single win in three outings but are now under pressure from Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, who beat luckless Jamaica Scorpions on Sunday to move up to 28 points in fifth.
Scorpions, meanwhile, have lost all three of their outings to be bottom of the standings on 14.4 points.
Meanwhile, new head coach Rayon Griffith speaking with Chronicle Sport yesterday, indicated that the hosts will play tough cricket, with the aim to garner maximum points.
“Definitely there is no room for complacency. We will come hard at them; we will play tough cricket as usual, with the aim of getting maximum points,” Griffith, the former national fast bowler pointed out.
Griffith, who served as Jaguars manager/assistant coach over the years, replaced Esaun Crandon, who has left to take up his position as the Windies assistant coach.
However, while Crandon has been Guyana’s most successful first-class head coach, his departure has seen the inclusion of West Indies batting legend Shivnarine Chanderpaul in the Jaguars’ coaching setup.
Chanderpaul, the second highest scorer for West Indies in the history of Test cricket, was appointed as the team’s interim assistant coach on Tuesday by the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB).
Griffith is of the opinion that Chanderpaul’s experience will be invaluable to the younger players, especially the batsmen.
Further, GCB confirmed that leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, who was overlooked by the West Indies selectors for the first Test against England, has replaced batsman Shimron Hetmyer in the squad for this round. Hetmyer is the lone Guyanese in the West Indies 13-man squad to face England later this month.
The last time the two sides met, earlier in the competition, Jaguars won by nine wickets.
The Guyana Jaguars squad reads: Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Trevon Griffith, Devendra Bishoo, Leon Johnson (captain), Keemo Paul, Anthony Bramble, Christopher Barnwell, Romario Shepherd, Veerasammy Permaul, Gudakesh Motie, Keon Joseph, Sherfane Rutherford, Clinton Pestano, Ramaal Lewis and Tevin Imlach.