Guyana Jaguars better prepared for PCL- Fitness Coach Yisrael

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By Akeem Greene

It is early days yet, but come October, the 2018/19 Professional Cricket League (PCL), played under the auspices of Cricket West Indies (CWI), will commence with the Regional Super50.

It is understood that rather than having the usual Four-day segment to spark the regional rivalry, the Super50 will be played first on the premise that it will be used as part of the benchmark for 2019 World Cup selection.

With this on the horizon, Guyana Jaguars’ Strength and Conditioning Coach, Kezqweyah Yisrael, is confident his troops will be even better prepared to handle the rigours that await them.

“Our guys have been exposed for the last five years, and every year as coaches we have had to improve so that we can help them [the players] be the best they can be. I think this year we are better prepared than we have ever been as a team of trainers so they will be better prepared than they would have ever been,” the fitness coach conveyed to News Room Sport in an exclusive interview.

Guyana Jaguars’ Strength and Conditioning Coach, Kezqweyah Yisrael

Since the beginning of the Professional Cricket League structure in 2014, Jaguars have held a firm grip on the Four-day segment, winning all four titles on the trot under the captaincy of Leon Johnson.

One major aspect of the team’s success is having a nucleus of players throughout the entire season as compared to other franchises, which have constant changes due to injury or international duties.

Having a solid academy system means the Jaguars have always had bench strength, a trait the other franchises have lacked over the past four seasons.

“There is a culture in the Caribbean that has been prevailing for a long time where our athletes do not do in-season strength training; so usually in long seasons that causes athletes to break down. Now athletes have begun to buy into the culture of preparing all the phases of training and helping our athletes stay stronger during the season,” the fitness maestro stated.

Yisrael, who has been with the team since 2009, further conveyed that fitness is not just about physical strength, but it encompasses the mental aspect of preparation.

“You have to take into consideration not only the physical fitness, but where they are mentally. It has been good so far; mentally they are there, the competitiveness is up, everyone is into it, everyone wants it which is good for Guyana.”

Last season, Jaguars finished the Four-day tournament with a whopping 166.8 points, 52.4 points ahead of rivals Barbados Pride in second place.

They won seven of their 10 matches, drew two and played the other to a thrilling tie against Windward Volcanoes. In the Super50, they bowed out at the semi-final stage following a 52-run loss to Volcanoes.

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