Demetri Cameron: From construction worker to fast-bowler for Guyana
By Akeem Greene
BIRTHPLACE: Rose Hall, East Berbice-Corentyne
CURRENT CLUB: Albion Sports Club
TEAMS: Albion Sports Club, Port Mourant Cricket Club, Barrackpore United Sports Club, Diamond Cricket Club, Cosmos Sports Club, Berbice Under-19s
ROLE: Right-arm fast-medium
On Friday, the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) announced the Guyana Harpy Eagles squad for the final three rounds of the Regional Four-Day Championship which resumes on May 18.
They will play all three of their remaining matches – Barbados Pride, Jamaica Scorpions, and Trinidad and Tobago Red Force – in the twin-island republic.
One name which popped out of the 15-man squad is Demetri Cameron, who got a maiden nod to the national squad.
The 25-year-old is one of four pacers selected, a possible hint that the Eagles will be hunting crucial fast-bowling points to challenge for the title they once held for five consecutive seasons.
Eagles are currently in the fourth position on 21.4 points, still 20.6 points adrift of leaders, and thus far unbeaten defending champions, Barbados Pride.
But back to the matter at hand. Who is this next fast-bowler out of Berbice?
Berbice is a place more known for producing the crème de la crème of Guyanese spinners and talented batsmen.
However, in recent years, they have also made significant inroads into Guyana’s fast-bowling armory and Cameron is the next weapon to be unleashed.
If you have never seen him in action, he is deceptively quick and has a strong action which he remodelled a few years ago due to an injury, and now mirrors that of a highly-rated South African pacer, Kagiso Rabada.
And this is why in any training session, the guys would call him ‘Rabada’.
Hailing from the community of Rose Hall, Cameron was not your high-flyer at the youth level or one which pundits would have pinned the flaring compliment “the next best thing.”
He motored through many years with little recognition and apart from a Berbice Under-19 selection in 2014, the national team berth seemed far-fetched.
Three seasons (2017, 2018, 2020) of club cricket in Trinidad, and being a usual net-bowler at Eagles’ practice sessions, he worked overtime to impress the management.
With fitness not an issue for him, he turned the bud of hard work into the fruit of wickets in some practice matches, paving the way for a potentially life-changing opportunity.
Speaking to News Room Sport on Saturday, Cameron related the arduous hours of work and sacrifice he had to endure to reach this stage.
“The training aspect as a fast bowler is really tough physically and mentally….my body is kind of slender and most of the guys at the [cricket] academy told me about the gym since I never really know what gym training was until the last two years and it has held me in getting stronger and fitter.”
He added, “I usually go gym in Fyrish when I am in Berbice or after work but it is really tough for me if I come home late after work, but I stuck to it because I knew my reward was sure as all the long hours travelling from and back to Berbice has finally paid off.”
The young man earns a living through construction work, a job which he does when there are no cricket commitments, and is conscious this “is just the beginning of better things and I know it would only get tougher from here but I am ready for the challenge.”
Should he get selected in the playing XI, Cameron is confident his experience of conditions on the island would aid would success.
“I believe my knowledge of playing club cricket in Trinidad would be a bonus if given the chance to play. The pitches are mostly dry or flat and I would say there is not too much on offer for fast-bowlers. I normally bowl wicket-to-wicket on most of the pitches, bringing leg before wicket, bowled or even caught-behind as a main mode of dismissal.”
With numerous lucrative opportunities in cricket now, Cameron knows, should he be given an opportunity at playing, the ball will be in his hand to leave an impression for future selection.
The Guyana Harpy Eagles squad reads Leon Johnson (Captain), Keemo Paul (Vice-Captain), Chandrapaul Hemraj, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Tevin Imlach, Vishaul Singh, Akshaya Persaud, Anthony Bramble, Veerasammy Permaul, Gudakesh Motie, Nial Smith, Demetri Cameron, Antony Adams, Kevin Sinclair and Ronsford Beaton.
Management Staff: Manager Albert Smith, Head Coach Esuan Crandon, Assistant Coach/Manager Ryan Hercules, Physiotherapist Angelica Holder and Cricket Analyst Keshava Ramphal.