CGI Academy beneficial to Guyana’s cricket- Grimmond

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By Avenash Ramzan

Coach Clive Grimmond believes that the Guyana Jaguars Academy hosted by Cricket Guy Inc. is a positive step in the development of the game locally. He made the disclosure during an early morning session on Monday at the Everest Cricket Club ground, Camp Road.

The Academy is designed to give up-and-coming players an opportunity to sharpen their skills, and also stay in peak condition should there be an opening on the Guyana Jaguars team.

The players are contracted by Cricket Guy Inc. where they are paid monthly to remain committed and fashion a career in the sport. Four coaches- Esaun Crandon, Rayon Griffith, Michael Franco Hyles and Clive Grimmond- are in charge of the players.

Coach Clive Grimmond speaking to News Room Sport
Coach Clive Grimmond speaking to News Room Sport

When Crandon and Griffith are out on national duty with the Guyana Jaguars team, Hyles and Grimmond are the ones carrying the workload.

With the Guyana Jaguars currently competing in the West Indies Cricket Board’s Professional Cricket League Four-day, a competition they have won over the last two years, Hyles and Grimmond are overseeing the development of the players.

Grimmond, in an exclusive interview with News Room Sport, pointed out that the 13 players, along with several others, have been in training as a group for the past three months.

“We’re doing a lot of net practice at Everest where we have two pitches to see the bowlers and batsmen. We also do a lot of physical activity in terms of strengthening and fitness and these kinds of things,” Grimmond said. The Academy is primarily for young up-and-coming players, whom the cricketing authorities believe have a future in the game.

It serves as a feeder to the Guyana Jaguars franchise, and already seven players have made the move to the senior set-up, namely openers Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Robin Bacchus and Shimron Hetmyer, all-rounder Romario Shepherd, off-spinner Steven Jacobs, left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie and wicketkeeper/batsman Tevin Imlach. Imlach however, is yet to represent Guyana at the senior level.

The players during training on Monday
The players during training on Monday

“Because this is the academy set-up, the guys are ready for there [to represent Guyana]. If a [Guyana Jaguars] player gets injured they could be called upon to replace, as has happened before with young [Shimron] Hetmyer and young [Tagenarine] Chanderpaul. So it proves that we have been successful from the bottom up,” Grimmond pointed out.

The coach added that the Academy has proven to be very beneficial to Guyana’s cricket, given the fact that players are now in a position where they can focus solely on their cricket development, while being paid to do so.

Grimmond reasoned that the proof of the Academy’s success has been in the accomplishments of the Guyana Jaguars franchise, which has been the most successful team in the Regional Four-day over the past two years.

“Yes, it has worked for us from the time the franchise set-up started. We’re always training [and] we always have a bunch of fit guys, not only training but [doing] other programmes. Mr Hyles would do a lot of workshops with the guys, getting them au fait with other parts of the game,” Grimmond highlighted.

While the sessions are mostly geared to develop the players technically, there are also classroom sessions during the out-of-season and rainy period. During this time, the players utilise the Chetram Singh Centre of Excellence, an indoor facility at La Bonne Intention, East Coast Demerara.

The players currently contracted in the Academy are Kandasammy Surujnarine, Raun Johnson, Akshaya Persaud, Sherfane Rutherford, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Steven Sankar, Kemol Savory, Keemo Paul, Kevon Boodie, Anthony Adams, Clinton Pestano, Dexter Solomon and Bhaskar Yadram.

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