EXCLUSIVE: Gajanand Singh “ecstatic” to gain CPL breakthrough
By Avenash Ramzan
Guyana Amazon Warriors newcomer Gajanand Singh is “ecstatic” to take a maiden dip in the Hero Caribbean Premier League (Hero CPL) 2017. In an exclusive interview with News Room Sport moments after his selection, Singh, who is currently playing in Trinidad and Tobago, expressed delight at being snapped up by the franchise that is based in the land of his birth.
Singh, the left-handed middle-order batsman, is one of six new faces selected to the Guyana Amazon Warriors, three-time finalists of the Hero CPL. News Room Sport reached out to Singh moments after the announcement. He is currently playing club cricket for Central Sports in Trinidad and Tobago, and he spoke of his initial reaction after his name was announced on Friday at the Player Draft in Barbados.
“There were two teams buying and when Guyana sent their name up to the podium and the name was mine, I was ecstatic,” Singh related. “I had a Jamaican guy next to me and he was excited as well. He said ‘that’s you’re name, that’s you’re name’ and I said ‘yea, yea, yea.’ I was really excited man. It’s a good feeling to be part of a tournament this big.”
Singh, a former West Indies Under-19 player, went off the radar for a bit after playing 10 First-Class and two List A games between 2008 and 2011, but stormed back in magnificent fashion earlier this year.
Playing for Demerara Cricket Club (DCC), the Berbician racked up scores of 64, 88, 56, 56 and 64, and was only dismissed once in the UWI/UNICOM T20 tournament in Trinidad and Tobago. Such exemplary performance- 328 runs at an astonishing average of 328- unsurprisingly earned him Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
“It (the performance) has helped me a great deal. It’s actually what I thought made a lot of people open their eyes and see that I can be part of this tournament. I would like to say thanks to DCC and (coach) Garvin Nedd, who had given me that opportunity (earlier this year) to play for DCC. It has thrown me back out on the market to play for franchises and even the national team hopefully,” Singh pointed out.
Commenting on the composition of the Warriors squad, Singh said once the players play to their full potential, the franchise can go the distance and claim a maiden CPL title.
“We’re going into the tournament with the same chance as every other team would have. If we play to our potential we should come out on top. We have a mixture of youth and experience in our team; we have good all-rounders and more than capable batsmen and the international players have been with us for a while so I think we have a fairly balanced that team that can go a very, very far way in the tournament,” Singh asserted.
Singh is 29, but he still harbours aspirations of one day playing international cricket, something he told News Room Sport earlier this year after his exploits in Trinidad. The CPL is another step in that quest, and Singh is aware that he will have to make every opportunity count.
“There are lots of guys who play well into their forties now. This is a new time and a new age, and as long as you stay fit and keep your body healthy, you can play as long as you choose to,” Singh said.
The other newcomers in the squad are destructive Jamaican wicket-keeper/batsman Chadwick Walton; Afghanistan all-rounder Rashid Khan; the big-hitting ICC Americas opener Steven Taylor; Barbados all-rounder Roshon Primus and Guyanese fast bowler Keon Joseph.