Who’s who in Guyana Jaguars Super50 squad
The Guyana Jaguars will head out to Barbados on Saturday morning to compete in the West Indies Cricket Board’s Super50 competition. News Room’s Avenash Ramzan presents individual profiles of the 14 players, on whose shoulders rest Guyana’s hopes of winning a regional 50-over title for the first time since 2005.
Guyana Jaguars have been slotted in Group B alongside host Barbados Pride, Jamaica Scorpions, Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners and ICC Americas. Group A, to be played in Antigua, comprises defending champions Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, host Leeward Islands Hurricanes, West Indies Under-19s, Windward Islands Volcanoes and English county side Kent Spitfires.
The tournament will start on January 24 and conclude on February 18.
Highes score: 67
At 29, skipper Leon Johnson is a veteran of regional cricket, although he has appeared in just 41 matches, scoring 1,013 runs. Eight half-centuries with a highest of 67 and an average of 25.32 are not true indicators of his talent, and he would look to use this tournament to silent those who believe that he is not suited to the short forms of the game. His captaincy has been phenomenal over the last five years, taking Guyana to back-to-back Regional Four-day title, the first skipper to do so. A 50-over title would further enhance record as captain.
Role: Left-arm spinner/Vice-Captain
Highes score: 39*
Vice-captain Veerasammy Permaul is a tried, tested and proven performer in regional cricket and the Albion left-arm spinner is a vital cog in the Jaguars set-up. He has taken 87 wickets from 58 List A games for Guyana, including a best of 5-26. An average of 21.02 and economy rate of 3.72, coupled with his aggressive batting down the order, makes Permaul an asset to any regional 50-over side.
Highes score: 51
Wicket-keeper Anthony Bramble is just 26, but he has matured over the last few years, especially in his batting. His work behind the stumps has also shown great improvement. The Berbician however, would be cognisant of the fact that younger prospects like Tevin Imlach and Dexter Solomon are lurking around, so the margin for error is very thin.
Role: Opening Batsman
Highes score: 50
Shimron Hetmyer is the ‘baby’ of the team, but he’s certainly a fully grown man with bat in hand. At 20, the former West Indies Under-19 captain is on the cusp of great things, and one sense that runs this season could fast-track his journey into the West Indies one-day set-up. Though he has appeared in three List A games for West Indies Under-19 team in 2015, the left-handed opener is set to make his debut for Guyana in 50-over cricket this season. His attacking style of batting could have bowlers and spectators running for cover.
Highes score: 150
At 42, Shivnarine Chanderpaul is the most experienced active regional cricketer at the moment. His exploits in the game are well-documented, but more importantly, he is one of only two Guyana Jaguars players with List A hundreds. His vast experience is crucial to the Jaguars chances, especially at a time when regional teams have generally struggled to bat out the full quota of 50 overs. Chanderpaul has been in fine form recently: he is Guyana Jaguars leading runscorer after five rounds of the Regional Four-day competition with 447 runs, including two hundreds and two fifties.
Highes score: 66
There is the popular opinion that all-rounder Christopher Barnwell has unduly enjoyed an extended run in the Guyana team. Consistency has always been an issue for the 30-year-old DCC player, and this year’s Super50 provides another opportunity for the former West Indies T20 player to once and for all repay the selectors. After 29 games, he has scored 544 runs at an average of 19 and picked up 21 wickets at 35 apiece. He is a match-winner, and the Jaguars would hope that Barnwell rediscover his magic this year.
Highes score: 84*
Raymon Reifer was a surprise pick by the Guyana Jaguars in 2014, but the Bajan has consistently delivered the goods, to the point where he can now be considered the team’s leading all-rounder. He averages 26.12 with bat after 22 games, and his 23 wickets have come at an excellent average of 20.56. Reifer has also picked up a List A five-wicket haul to go with his two half-centuries.
Role: Opening Batsman
Highes score: 52
Opener Rajendra Chandrika could be hard-pressed to make the final XI if the selectors opt for the opening pair of Shimron Hetmyer and Assad Fudadin, which is highly likely. After 21 games, Chandrika, who played Test cricket last year, averages 18 with three fifties, but the selectors believe he still has a lot to offer in the 50-over game. He would need to grab his chances with both hands if he wants to improve his record and score beyond his highest of 52.
Highes score: 54*
Steven Jacobs is perfectly suited to limited overs cricket- he is a tidy off-spinner, who can bowl the new ball as well as in the middle overs, while he is useful lower-order batsman. The 28-year-old Jacobs is also a very good fielder, and his vast experience of captaining various teams is a plus for the Jaguars. His nagging line and length has befuddled many batsmen over the years, and he could once again be called up on to provide the early breakthrough for the Jaguars.
Highes score: 103*
Assad Fudadin scored his maiden List A hundred last season, and he could once again find himself opening the batting. The 31-year-old left-hander has appeared in 49 matches, scoring 1,033 run at an average of 26. Fudadin still harbours thoughts of playing international cricket, and he’s aware that only runs would get him there.
Highes score: 52*
Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo would be playing a full season of 50-over cricket after missing out last season due to international duties. Bishoo made a return to ODI cricket last year after being on the sidelines for five years, and the Albion spinner is looking to seal that West Indies spot. This season would be crucial to his progress, and he would be keen to add to his 70 wickets, which have come at 18.92 with a best of 6-36.
Role: Fast bowler
Highes score: 15
Ronsford Beaton is the only genuinely quick fast bowler in a Jaguars squad, heavily reliant on spin. At 24, Beaton is one of the bright young prospects in the Caribbean, and he would want to once again display his obvious talent in the Super50. His death bowling would be crucial to Jaguars chances, as he is one of the better exponents of the yorker in the region.
Highes score: 38*
Paul Wintz has quietly been making a name for himself, as he finished as Jaguars second leading wicket-taker last season. He has the ability to bowl the new ball and return in the death overs. What Wintz lacks in pace, he makes up with line and length and subtle swing, something that is a plus in limited overs cricket. A bowling average of 19 and an economy rate of 4.62 speaks of his ability with the ball.
Highes score: 16
This year’s tournament represents a return to regional cricket for Jonathon Foo. The explosive batsman, who last played for Guyana in 2011, was recalled after consistent performances for Lower Corentyne in the Jaguars Franchise League 50-over and Three-day competitions. A more than useful off-spinner and outstanding fielder, Foo is bubbling with confidence after a stint with the Jamaica Tallawahs in the CPL last year, and he would want to use this Super50 to put his regional career back on track.