Guyana Jaguars coach outlines plans for resurgence

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By Akeem Greene

Championship-winning Guyana Jaguars Head Coach, Esuan Crandon, strongly believes that for Jaguars to return to winning ways and sustain that momentum, all stakeholders must have one collective vision.

Crandon headed Jaguars’ dominance in the West Indies Four-Day championship since the inception of the Professional Cricket League (PCL) in 2014. However, the Jaguars five-year winning streak was snapped by Barbados Pride, who claimed the Headley and Weekes Trophy after topping the points table after eight rounds.

The season was cut short owing to the coronavirus.

Though there was a mathematical possibility of the Jaguars winning, it was highly improbable. Pride had obtained 134.8 points, way ahead of Red Force (94.6), and Jaguars and Scorpions tied on 91.8.

Crandon believes a mixture of youth and experience is key going forward

After the season was initially put on hold, many called for young talents to be exposed in the final two rounds, as the Jaguars would have been hard-pressed to really challenge for the title.

Evidently, extenuating circumstances prevented such and the wait will continue, but the conversation has started on how the next generation of young talents can make that transition to First-Class cricket.

“For me, it is always essential to mix that blend of experience and youth; at some point in time, guys got to be exposed to First-Class cricket; those academy players, guys like Akshaya [Persaud] who did not play this year and [Tevin] Imlach who played one game. The more game time they get will be better for them; it is a matter of blending it.’’

He added, “It is not about discarding the experienced players because they did not have a fantastic season since those guys have been doing well over the years and winning games for you.”

Akshaya Persaud is one of the young players on Crandon’s radar

Crandon, who was elevated to Assistant Coach of West Indies in 2019, believes there must be a strong collaboration among the key stakeholders to craft a plan that will morph into an even stronger unit when the new season commences.

“You need a collective vision; a collaboration between administrators, selectors, and coaches to discuss a way forward in the best way for cricket.”

The 38-year-old acknowledged that a lack of finances could limit certain preparatory plans from coming to fruition, but said he has a “clear vision” on how to prepare for the new season and further felt once all parties work collectively, Jaguars can regain their top spot in the Four-Day championship.

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