PCL: Windies trio boosts Jaguars for test against Pride
By Akeem Greene
The return of three Windies players to the Guyana Jaguars squad for their third round battle against Barbados Pride in the Four-day championship can been seen as a major boost for the blockbuster clash, but at the same time it creates a headache for the selection panel as to who sit outs.
Batsman Chandrapaul Hemraj and all-rounders Sherfane Rutherford and Raymon Reifer have been named in the 13-man squad for the top-of-the table battle at the Kensington Oval from Thursday, January 3.
Making the way for their inclusion are Trevon Griffith, Tevin Imlach and Akshaya Persaud in a squad that is yet to taste defeat this season.
Six international players were expected to join the ranks, but, according to a correspondence from the Guyana Cricket Board, “Keemo Paul injured his finger during the last match in Bangladesh, while Devendra Bishoo was still in the USA at the time of selection and Shimron Hetmyer has requested to be rested.”
In terms of gaining the nod for Windies, good performances will be crucial after the disastrous Test tours to India and Bangladesh, which may have left some players uncertain of their place ahead of the full tour by England, which commences with a Three-Test series starting on January 23 in Barbados.
Pride are expected to follow suit and play their seasoned Windies players, one of whom should be captain Jason Holder to test his fitness after injury forced him out of the Bangladesh tour.
Holder is expected to join fellow Test players Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Kemar Roach and Jomel Warrican.
Even Trinidad and Tobago Red Force has enlisted the services of their Windies players. Batsman Darren Bravo, wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin, fast bowler Shannon Gabriel and left-arm spinner Khary Pierre are all available for the clash with Leeward Islands Hurricanes.
When Pride and Jaguars clashed at the Oval in the previous, season, the match ended in tame draw with neither side scoring over 300 runs in an innings.
With the returning players being first preference, a selectors’ headache will arise since players who have been consistent in their absence will have to make way.
Vishaul Singh with 168 runs is team’s leading run-scorer followed by Christopher Barnwell 125 runs at an average of 62.50; Tagenarine Chanderpaul with 116 runs is the only other batsman to accumulate over the triple figure.
With ball, the menacing Veerasammy Permaul has already snared 12 wickets, followed by pacer Romario Shepherd with eight, Clinton Pestano (7) and Gudakesh Motie (6).
Four-time defending champions Guyana Jaguars have already won both their matches for the season quite emphatically.
They lead the table 14.4 points ahead of Pride, who have 22.6. Hurricanes are in third with 22.2 points followed by Windward Volcanoes (21.4), Jamaica Scorpions (5) and Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (4.4). The latter two franchises have only played one match.
Guyana Jaguars squad for round three: Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Leon Johnson (Captain), Vishaul Singh, Christopher Barnwell, Raymon Reifer, Anthony Bramble, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Veerasammy Permaul, Clinton Pestano, Keon Joseph and Gudakesh Motie.