“I love Guyana boy; I love my country”
By Avenash Ramzan
“I love Guyana boy; I love my country.”
The utterances of Norman ‘Juice Man’ Welch, a true son of the soil, as he sported a smile as broad as the mighty Essequibo river.
With a cooler packed with juices and ‘bomb’ perched on his bicycle handle, Norman rode into Providence to view the Guyana Jaguars training session on Tuesday.
He is a constant whenever the Jaguars play at Providence, shouting words of advice and encouragement from the stands; he told News Room that he would take some credit for the team’s remarkable success over the last five years.
“Well, actually I’m a part of the team. I’m a mentor; I look at mistakes and so on, so I’m giving a lot to the team,” Welch said.
“I’ll take some credit for it (the Jaguars winning four PCL Four-day title on the trot).”
Norman never really engaged in on-field battle, save and except for the one time he represented his school. This has not stopped him though from being a self-proclaimed expert on the game.
The 59-year-old cricket fanatic is enthused that several young players are coming through the system- the likes of rising West Indies stars and IPL-bound trio Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Sherfane Rutherford.
“That is what it’s all about…we’re looking for the younger stars to get up and do well because there will be a time when the older players would go away and we’re grooming the young players well,” Norman related.
Despite the unprecedented success in the longest format of regional cricket, the Jaguars have been longing for a 50-over title, coming close on a few occasions.
The last time Guyana won such a title was in 2005 when the Shivnarine Chanderpaul-led side defeated Barbados in fading light at Bourda in the KFC Cup.
“I would like to go overseas when they play this 50-over competition and reach the final. I think I will bring a lot (of luck) to that final. I would win the first final if I go. I love Guyana boy, I love Guyana, honestly I love my country,” Norman concluded with a proud smile.
The ‘Juice Man’ would be at Providence from Thursday, doing what he knows best- spurring on his countrymen- as they take on Leeward Islands Hurricanes in fifth round action of the PCL.
The Jaguars, hunting a fifth straight title, are seeking a fifth consecutive win in the top-of-the-table clash.