Jaguars Four-Day warm-up: Selectors opt for younger talents over Barnwell

- Fitness issues keep Bramble, Hemraj out

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The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) on Monday released the names of 30 players who will compete in the first Best v Best Four-Day match at the Albion Community Centre ground from Wednesday.

Notably, five contracted Guyana Amazon Jaguars players- Romario Shepherd, Gudakesh Motie, Christopher Barnwell, Anthony Bramble and Chandrapaul Hemraj- were absent from the list.

Shepherd and Motie’s absence is linked to their selection to the West Indies white-ball squad for the visits from Ireland and England later this month.

In an invited comment on Tuesday, Chairman of the Senior Selection Panel, Ramnaresh Sarwan, explained that Barnwell is currently being “phased out of the Four-Day team for younger talents”, while Hemraj and Bramble have not reached the required fitness standard.

Chairman of the Guyana Cricket Board Senior Selection Panel, Ramnaresh Sarwan

Sarwan is assisted by Albert Smith (Berbice), Peter Persaud (Demerara) and Atto Christiani (Essequibo) on the selection panel. Head Coach Esuan Crandon was also part of the selection process.

“We recognise the value Barnwell has given to the team over the years, and this Four-Day squad in particular, but at this current junction, we want to begin to blood younger talents with an eye on the future. As such, we spoke to Barnwell about our plans for the Four-Day team,” Sarwan explained.

“What I can assure you is that Barnwell will continue to be a key part of our white-ball plans going forward. That squad will also see some changes as again, we look to be smart in how we give the younger talents exposure while not at the expense of weakening a winning combination,” the Chairman added.

At the truncated Four-Day season (2019-2020), where Jaguars lost the grip on the title after five seasons to Barbados Pride, the 34-year-old Barnwell was the team’s second-leading run-scorer with 435 runs at an average of 33.46. He had a best of 107, along with two half-centuries.

Captain Leon Johnson led the way with 472 runs at 36.30 and a best of 189*; Vishaul Singh was the next best with 381 runs at 34.63.

Barnwell also picked up seven wickets in 12 innings at an average of 33.00 and had best match figures of 3-46.

Anthony Bramble gathers runs through the off-side

Meanwhile, opening batsman Hemraj and wicketkeeper-batsman Bramble were not selected due to yet another below-par fitness performance.

“Fitness is something we will hold in very high esteem when it comes to selection. These players, within a short space, would have underperformed on their fitness tests and it is a serious concern to us. They have been given further time to go and work on that part of their game with the aim of an improved performance at the next test.”

It is understood that out of just over 30 players, only 10 managed to meet the required 40 or above.

On Monday, some players undertook the Yo-Yo Test and sprints while some who did not meet the required 40 previously, retook the tests.

In a section of the media, Esuan Crandon stated he has happy to see players improving on the tests, but still dissatisfied they are not meeting the pass mark.

Sarwan has pitched the notion of increasing Guyana’s minimum standard to 45.

The Guyanese are in preparation mode for the resumption of Regional Four-Day cricket in February, which will be limited to five rounds instead of its usual 10.

The 30 selected for the first practice game are: Leon Johnson, Keemo Paul, Shimron Hetmyer, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Vishaul Singh, Kevlon Anderson, Veerasammy Permaul, Keon Joseph, Kevin Sinclair, Tevin Imlach, Qumar Torrington, Joshua Jones, Demitri Cameron, Sylus Tyndall, Clinton Pestano, Anthony Adams, Kelvin Umroa, Ashmead Nedd, Richie Looknauth, Junior Sinclair, Quintin Sampson, Zachary Jodah, Jonathan Rampersaud, Akshaya Persaud, Raymond Perez, Kemol Savory, Mavindra Dindyal, Javed Karim, Rampertab Ramnauth and Seon Glasgow.

Two other matches are slated for January 12-15 and 18-21.

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