Crandon hopes for quick mental switch as Four-Day swiftly approaches
By Akeem Greene
The majority of the Guyana Amazon Jaguars players has been either not engaged in competitive cricket, or just playing in the shorter versions over the last year.
However, in just over a month’s time, the Regional Four-Day season is scheduled to restart and for players to quickly adapt, Head Coach Esuan Crandon strongly believes it will take a more mental than a technical approach.
COVID-19 brought an abrupt end to the Regional Four-Day season in 2020, with Guyana Amazon Jaguars losing their stranglehold on the title after five seasons to Barbados Pride.
The build-up to the new season, earmarked to start in February, has been quite different from previous years, as there was a change in the Guyana Cricket Board administration, a rampaging pandemic, and the weather has not been favourable.
Added to that, the major venues in Georgetown and Demerara will soon become inaccessible due to Guyana hosting Under-19 World Cup matches next month.
At the moment though, both outdoor and indoor sessions are ongoing at the La Bonne Intention (LBI) Training Facility, to get the players back in tune with the longer version.
“Indeed, early days, but not a lot of time to go. A lot of the guys have not been playing a lot of cricket apart from those who were in the USA, so, most of the guys have been trying to get back in the groove, tighten up their technique and try to construct a very good game plan,” Crandon told News Room Sport on Wednesday.
With players being part of various T20 or T10 leagues, red ball practice has been limited to almost non-existent since the Regional Four-Day Championship came to premature end in March 2020.
Crandon, a Level III Coach, further posited that what will be needed to reap success is players being able to have a mental transition to the longer format.
“Most of the guys have been playing white-ball cricket, but it is to make that transition which is very important, but when you are doing that, it is more of a mindset thing.”
He added, “It is not much of a technical change, but it is more of a mindset- your thinking, your thought process and wanting to bat long, hit more balls or leave more balls. There is no rush to score in Four-Day cricket, but you must have a very good plan that will give you runs.”
Crandon added they are considering the option of playing the first practice match at the Albion Community Centre ground as part of preparations for the upcoming season.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Senior Selection panel, Ramnaresh Sarwan, who was at LBI Wednesday overlooking some of the sessions, had stated earlier this month, should players put in standout performances in these practice matches, he is willing to give them the nod.
In the selection of the squad for that tournament, which is understood to be just five rounds instead of the usual 10, Sarwan said he is looking for the right balance.
While their opponent is not yet known, the certainty is that Guyana Jaguars will play their first match of the next year’s Regional Four-Day Championship away from home.