West Indian dads enjoy ‘son-day’ at U-19 warm-up match
A pair of proud fathers was among the first fans watching action in the ICC Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022 on Sunday at the Guyana National Stadium.
Albeit a warm-up match, Wayne Auguste and Arjune Nandu were riveted to the activity in the middle as their sons – Ackeem Auguste and Matthew Nandu respectively – were in the thick of battle for the West Indies versus India at the Providence venue.
Both fathers have been following their son’s progress for years and are hoping this campaign on home turf will be successful. For Saint Lucia’s Auguste it would be particularly pleasing if the Rising Stars could win the tournament.
“My son is the captain of West Indies Under-19s. I’m happy and proud that he is learning and growing in the sport. He started a very long time ago and just to see him progress makes me feel good,” said Auguste.
“I always travel whenever he plays. I follow him around. Ackeem has been playing cricket since he was about two-and-a-half years old – so we’ve been at it a long time. He definitely wants to go all the way in cricket, and we give him all the support possible.”
Meanwhile, Nandu – who played First-Class cricket for Guyana (1988–1992) and two Youth Tests for West Indies Under-19 (1990) – left the talking to his other son, Marcus Nandu, also a talented cricketer who was in Canada’s squad for the ICC Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2018.
“It’s a nice feeling to see him playing for the West Indies. Normally we play together so to see him out there is cool,” said 21-year-old Marcus of his 18-year-old brother who scored a half-century in a losing cause.
Regarding the family’s plan for the tournament, which starts on Friday with the West Indies opposing Australia at the same venue, Marcus revealed he and his dad will “watch the matches in Guyana and then we may go to St. Kitts”.
Auguste – whose son suffered a first-ball duck – is hoping his travels will take him all the way to Antigua and Barbuda – to watch the West Indies in the business end of the event.
Joycelyn Dias was also among the smattering of fans absorbing Sunday’s duel, and she was playing teacher.
“I’m a cricket fanatic. That’s why I’m here. There’s hardly anybody but it doesn’t matter – I’m here and I have my friend. I’m introducing her to cricket properly!” she declared, accompanied by her gal pal, Ayanna Greene.
“There ain’t a Guyanese who will tell you that they don’t know anything about cricket. She’s not a fanatic but, if she didn’t like cricket, she wouldn’t be here with me. My company is not that good.”
Both women – clearly good friends – dissolved into laughter.
Asked if she intends to attend the tournament, Dias replied emphatically.
“Absolutely – all the matches! I have my season ticket already!”
Other spectators, including some club players, enjoyed a relaxing afternoon assessing the young men on the field, applauding shots and wickets alike. Most plan to heed the tournament tagline for the ICC Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022 and ‘Be There’ for matches at GNS and Everest Cricket Club (ECC).
Before that though, warm-up fixtures continue on Monday at ECC and Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) in Guyana and, in St. Kitts and Nevis, at Warner Park and Conaree Cricket Center. (ICC)