Warriors Fan perspective: Cheering from a distance
By Josh Bissoon
The Caribbean Premier League is a true picture of what unity and camaraderie is all about. We deck in our colours with flag by our side and we try to beat the rush hour traffic to claim our seat in our favourite stand.
We gradually watch the stands fill to capacity for every game and the picture painted at Providence is one unmatched.
The horns will sound, the drums will beat, and the music will echo around the ground as we cheer every Warriors run and show our disgust at the fall of a wicket because no matter if you travelled from the backlands of Moleson Creek or journeyed the Essequibo, the support is always there for our team, our Warriors.
Every year we have rallied behind the Guyana Amazon Warriors in their quest to secure an inaugural title. We have changed the squad, we have changed the coach and we have even changed the uniform, but time and again the coveted title has eluded us.
On the eve of October 12, 2019, our hopes were high after seeing a record-breaking performance from the Warriors. We hoped they had one more game left in them.
Though experts and scholars of the game predicted the Warriors had to have a bad game, who knew it was on the grandest stage of them all.
Our hope, our belief, our Warrior spirit were crushed and we talked about it for many weeks after this devastating defeat.
Now in 2020, we search for the spirit, the hype and the excitement as the Biggest Party in Sport has return yet again; a party where the glitz and glamour has all faded. Our support would have to be distanced this year.
The team being led by a young Australian who has much to prove. He will rally a group of young and emerging talents in Ashmead Nedd and Kevin Sinclair with an experienced Guyanese contingent including Shimron Hetymer, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd and Keemo Paul.
He will look to garner support from the experience of foreign stalwarts of the game in Ross Taylor and Imran Tahir to give this South American country something that has eluded them for seven years.
Looking at the make-up of the squad and knowing the matches are played at two venues, the spin repertoire of the Guyana Amazon Warriors will prove handy with Captain Green cleared to bowl and the sly old fox in Tahir will prove a challenge for many opponents.
The opening pair of last season is the same for me; they gelled well together last season with Brandon King being the leading run-getter of the tournament.
His form and Chandrapaul Hemraj’s support will be vital for the success of the team.
I personally believe Hetymer should be given the chance to bat at three, take a few deliveries and get use to the wicket and then provide a launch pad for the likes of Nicholas Pooran and Rutherford.
The anchor of the middle will be the reliable Taylor, who had much experience in the CPL playing for the Trinbago Knight Riders and St. Lucia Zouks in previous editions.
One guy I believe we need to pay attention to is Keemo Paul. He has time and again come to the forefront of the team when needed. I believe he can be a star if he manages his death bowling well, something that in the past has haunted the Warriors.
Also contributing with the bat and make handy runs at the close of the evenings, he can be the ‘Chris Woakes’ of the Amazon Warriors and by extension the West Indies.
The depth of our batting, I believe all the way to number nine, can come in handy if we are to post some big scores and give our bowlers a better chance to defend.
My worry not only for our Amazon Warriors, but players across the tournament some might be prone to injury after a lengthy layoff except for the few who were in England.
It will be very unlikely to replace any injured from outside the bubble. This might lead to some being at a disadvantage.
My fervent hope is the training and fitness done prior to the start of this tournament will be sufficient. A great tournament is where the best of the best can get to compete and that is what we as fans wish for.
To all the Warriors, we know it has been an unprecedented year and we know we can’t pack the stands at Providence to cheer you on, but we will watch from a distance and cheer that six and applaud that wicket.
I encourage you to do your best and showcase your talent that each one of you possess and make 2020 the Warriors’ year. Best of Luck.