After winning the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Professional Cricket League (PCL) Regional Four Day tournament, now rebranded Digicel/Sportsmax Regional four-day, for two consecutive years, the Guyana Jaguars are no leaving no stones unturned as they seek to make it three successive titles when the competition resumes on November 11.
A large proportion of the players would have played in the just concluded Jaguars Franchise 3-day League and are now a part of a three-day simulation match at the Everest ground.
Guyana Times Sport spoke to Head Coach, Esuan Crandon on Wednesday on preparations ahead of their first match of the new season against the Jamaica Scorpions on November 11 at Providence.
“Training has been coming along pretty good so far, we are putting in the fine touches; it is about two weeks from the start, so it is important that we get the guys in good shape,” Crandon stated.
In the two years of championship glory, the Jaguars have played 20 matches, winning 16, drawing on three occasions and losing just once, which should make them strong favourites to cop the title yet again. However, the coach is adamant that the players need to be cautious of being over-confident.
“What happened in the past two years, is the past, we are not really banking on that; it is a fresh season, we just want to get our mental aspect in check and the guys are doing well heading into the tournament.”
The former national player added, “I have said to the guys you look to improve everyday as you go along in specific skills, batting, bowling and fielding and try to get yourselves in the best shape and condition before the start of the tournament.”
In keeping with development of day/night Test cricket, this version of the game has been re-introduced into the four-day construct, with the Jaguars playing two matches, the first being against the (Windward Islands) Volcanoes from November 25-28 at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium at Beausejour and against the (Barbados) Pride from December 8 to 11 at Providence; as such Crandon says that adapting as quickly as possible to how the pink ball plays will be vital.
“It is important that we get accustom, as soon as the balls are available we will get some practice, there has been comments about the pink ball in the night but we need to concentrate on what we can do best; utilize the conditions during the day then in the night with the ball, so we can devise the best possible plan to deal to counter-attack the opposition.”
Last season, several of the Jaguars players performed outstandingly, with some topping batting and bowling charts and after the local three-day season, some new talents have been brought to light.
Crandon says that selecting a final team will always be difficult but hard decisions must be made, stating that It is not an easy job, in terms of when you have all the players available and then you have to pick your best possible eleven to play your game but a lot things you would take into consideration when picking the team such as the conditions, the opponents; sometimes you have to make tough decisions but I’m sure myself and management will select the best possible team.”
At the player draft in Barbados in June of this year, the Jaguars management selected some new faces to the squad to go along with the familiar faces.
Jaguars squad: Shimron Hetmyer, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Vishaul Singh, Assad Fudadin, Raymon Reifer, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Christopher Barnwell, Veerasammy Permaul, Gudakesh Motie, Keon Joseph, Anthony Bramble, Steven Jacobs, Paul Wintz and Romario Shephard.
Two-time winning captain, Leon Johnson and Test leg spinner Devendra Bishoo both have West Indies senior team contracts but will be available for the Jaguars when not on international duties.
(Taken from Guyana Times)