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Young Essequibo fast bowler looking to make it big

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By Avenash Ramzan

He can easily be mistaken for a budding wrestler. He’s stocky; boosts muscular shoulders and perambulates like a powerlifter. He’s Joshua Jones- footballer at heart, cricketer by choice.

The 17-year-old, a bustling fast bowler from the village of Queenstown in Essequibo, worked up some pace in the recently concluded Hand-in-Hand Under-19 Inter-county competition, troubling quite a few batsmen, both in the Three-day and 50-over versions.

While his numbers may not be mind-boggling, it was his ability to create genuine chances for Essequibo whenever he was called upon by the skipper that caught the eyes. In a competition severely hampered by rain, Jones finished with a total of 10 wickets in four games across the two formats with a best of 4-65 against Demerara in the 50-over tournament.

He did showcase his batting capabilities as well, getting scores of 33 against the Select Under-17s and 25 against Demerara, batting down the order.

“It was a good tournament for me. I would have love to do better, but I’m satisfied that I was able to contribute with bat and ball,” Jones told News Room Sport.

Although Essequibo finished in the cellar position among the four teams (eventual champions Demerara, runners-up Berbice and the Select Under-17s being the others), Jones, who represented Guyana at the Under-17 level in 2015 and 2016, was one of the county’s leading performers.

Jones, whose cricketing idols are South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada and his compatriot AB deVilliers, is now aiming to break into the Guyana Under-19 team for the upcoming Regional Under-19 tournament.

“Yes, my aim is to make the Guyana Under-19 and hopefully I will do well there and get a call up to the West Indies Youth team,” Jones related.

A member of the NOC Sports Club and student of the Cotton Field Secondary School, Jones was convinced to take up cricket by Ato Christiani of the Essequibo Cricket Board after he initially focussed his attention, time and energy on football.

It’s a switch Jones doesn’t regret, as in the space of seven years since taking up cricket he has represented Guyana and is now amongst the crop of best young fast bowlers in the country.

“I train every day because as a fast bowler you have to be fit,” he told News Room Sport. “In the mornings I would run for about 30 minutes, then in the afternoon I run 10 laps around the ‘ball field’, and then do some stretches, spot bowling, shuttles and batting.” 

Jones is big on being strong and fit, and if he gets the opportunities he so desires in the sport then batsmen could be in for a torrid time.

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