Browne lauds commitment and discipline of Guyanese cricketers
By Avenash Ramzan
The commitment and discipline of Guyanese cricketers has not escaped the attention of Cricket West Indies Chairman of Selectors, Courtney Browne.
Delivering remarks at a Guyana Cricket Board function to honour recently crowned five-time Regional Four-day champions, Guyana Jaguars, on Wednesday evening, Browne highlighted the fantastic track record of the nation’s cricketers.
“I say this from when I was playing to now being a selector and just as big fan; I think discipline in Guyana in terms of their cricket is tremendous. And that is one thing you guys have always had. We’ve never really got any bad or negative feedback from Guyanese players; they’re always committed to the cause,” Browne said.
He continued: “I hope that going forward you continue to be a disciplined team. You don’t win five titles by just going on to a field and playing cricket. I mean the hallmark and the overarching factor really is discipline.”
Under the tested, proven and astute leadership of Leon Johnson, Guyana Jaguars have won the professional franchise Four-day championship ever since it was introduced in 2014-15.
However, despite the dominance of the South American lads, players from other territories, especially from Browne’s hometown Barbados, have been getting the nod on the senior West Indies team.
“And yes I know there’s a lot of debate about Guyana winning five trophies and not enough players on the (West Indies) team, but the good thing about West Indies cricket, especially the Test team, we’re seeing some stability now. We don’t believe in the chopping and changing; we believe we need to give players the opportunity and the coaches the opportunity to develop the players,” Browne remarked.
“But it doesn’t mean other players would not get in to West Indies senior team. So the guys who have done very well this year, the (Anthony) Brambles, the (Romario) Shepherds, who would have been in our A Team programmes at some stage, you got to keep plugging, you got to work hard.”
Wicketkeeper/batsman Bramble was Guyana Jaguars’ leading runscorer this season with 580 runs, following up his 613 from last season, while Shepherd was a standout with the ball, claiming 37 wickets, the most by a fast bowler this season. Shepherd also scored 315 runs.
“I think the biggest impact on West Indies cricket was the introduction of the franchise system, and I say that because we’ve seen a lot of results in terms of being able to identify talents across the region,” the former wicketkeeper/batsman posited.
“The fact that we’re now playing 10 matches gives the selection panel a platform and a real opportunity to actually see players. Before, when we used five games, it was never enough. Now it’s a bit more competitive and we want players to back up their seasons, which is very, very important…so you do well this year, you have to do well next year.”
With seven victories, the most by a single team in the competition, Guyana Jaguars topped the charts with 154.2 points. Barbados Pride and Leeward Islands Hurricanes finished second and third respectively with 134.2 and 134, followed by Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (112.4), Jamaica Scorpions (97.2) and Windward Islands Volcanoes (92).
Bramble and Shepherd apart, Jaguars got solid contributions from opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul (542 runs), Johnson (480 runs) and veteran left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul (42 wickets).