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Fit-again Hemraj eyes West Indies return

Chandrapaul Hemraj
Chandrapaul Hemraj

Explosive opening batsman, Chandrapaul Hemraj, is eyeing a return to the West Indies side and is hopeful a positive season can lead to a recall.

Hemraj played six One Day Internationals for the Caribbean side but has not played a match in maroon colours since December 2018. He told Stabroek Sport, “My main goal is getting back into the West Indies team. It’s all a process and I’m willing to do the work to get back there.”

The Everest Cricket Club batsman recalled, “Playing for the West Indies is something I’ve always dreamt of and it goes to show that once you believe and work hard, you can achieve anything.”

In the 2019 Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Hemraj finished with 299 runs at a strike rate of 121. He went on to feature in the Regional Super50 and was the only Guyanese to score a ton.

The 26-year-old left-hander missed the remaining two matches of this year’s West Indies Championship but finished with an average of 36.55, the best by any Guyana Jaguars batman.

Hemraj stroked three half-centuries with a best of 82 in his last innings against Jamaica Scorpions but suffered a side strain that ruled him out of rounds seven and eight.

He informed this publication, “I’m fully recovered. I would have been available to play the last two games but unfortunately that was it for the tournament,” since the  Coronavirus forced Cricket West Indies to cancel the final two rounds of the championship. While Hemraj has been putting in the work, the restrictions imposed due to the Coronavirus pandemic has affected on-field action but that has not dampened the spirit of the Strathavon resident.

“There’s only so much you could do training wise but I’m still hitting some balls home with my family…also now is a good time for me to really reflect and assess my game,” Hemraj stated.

The Guyana Amazon Warrior batsman admitted that he is not worried about the chatter off the field but is only concerned with going out and producing performances to warrant selection. He explained that he is not one to stress about not reaching targets but rather posited that the only thing is to keep improving and have a better season year after year.

Hemraj added the CPL is one of the biggest cricket tournaments across the world and he is positive that a good season can enhance his chances of making it back into maroon colours.

The opener related that with Guyana set to have its local limited overs league prior to the tournament, it would provide an excellent chance to groove back into competitive cricket.

“That’s something I think will bring out fans to watch cricket. It would also, give players an opportunity to showcase their talent and improve in that format,” he reckoned.

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For many years the West Indies team ruled the cricket world, playing undefeated in a Test series for over 15 years. Recently the West Indies team has suffered several losses but with the emergence of new high-calibre players the future for the West Indies cricket team looks very good!

West Indians are passionate about their cricket, quick to cheer when the team performs well but also quick to criticize a poor performance. Thousands of West Indians always turn out to watch their team play .... and hopefully win!

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