Successful U-19 cricketers return home to warm welcome
By Avenash Ramzan
Fresh off their success in the West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) Regional Under-19, 50-over championship in St Vincent and the Grenadines, members of the Guyana team returned home to a warm welcome at the Eugene F. Corriera International Airport at Ogle.
After a disappointing performance in the three-day competition, where they finished last among the six teams, Guyana stormed back to win the 50-over title by defeating the Windward Islands by five wickets in the final on Sunday, losing just a solitary match to the Leeward Islands.
Windwards posted 142 with Keemo Paul and Loaknauth Chinkoo taking three wickets each. Guyana then responded with 145-5 off 43 overs with Bhaskar Yadram leading the way with an accomplished 41 not.
Raymond Perez made 24 and Sherfane Rutherford 21. Among the delegation to welcome the cricketers home on Monday afternoon was president of the Guyana Cricket Board, Drubahadur.
He extended kudos to the players and management team for a job well done and urged the young cricketers to continue to work diligently for more success.
Director of Sport Christopher Jones was also on hand to extend congratulations to the young cricketers on behalf of the government and people of Guyana. He urged the young ambassadors to aim high, as their goal should be to one day represent the senior West Indies team.
The successful captain, Travis Persaud, was understandably elated with his players’ performance, especially after their poor showing in the three-day version of the competition.
Teamwork, the captain pointed out, was the main reason for the team’s success, as Guyana copped a third straight regional Under-19 50-over title.
West Indies Under-19 all-rounder Keemo Paul, who was part of all three successful Guyana 50-over team, was voted best all-rounder of the tournament after some outstanding performances with bat and ball.
The Essequibian revealed that the competition was tough this year, adding that the reason for Guyana’s poor returns in the three-day competition was mainly down to the players not acclimatising properly.
As the youngest member of the team, Bhaskar Yadram displayed a high level of maturity and played a crucial innings in the final to lead Guyana to championship honours.
The 16-year-old Enterprise cricketer stated that the run-chase brought its own share of pressure, and he was delighted to steer the team to victory and lift the title.
The players will now switch focus to the inaugural staging of the Guyana Cricket Board’s Jaguars Franchise League Three-day tournament, set to start on Friday with eight franchises set to do battle.
Cover photo caption: Members of the successful team with officials of the Guyana Cricket Board and the government of Guyana upon arrival on Monday afternoon (Avenash Ramzan photo)