Taken from Guyana Times
By Avenash Ramzan
American Matthew Nicholas Biondi, the former world record holder and Olympic swimming champion, once said, “Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.”
Persistence it was that drove Biondi to capture a total of 11 medals (eight gold, two silver and one bronze) at the Summer Olympic Games in 1984, 1988 and 1992, certainly an extraordinary achievement.
Only last weekend, Guyana and West Indies leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo pulled off a feat of similar proportions, notching up several milestones on his way to a remarkable bowling performance against Trinidad and Tobago in the seventh round of the West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) Regional Four-day competition.
The 28-year-old from the East Berbice village of Albion, an area called Guava Bush to be specific, raked in astonishing bowling figures of 9-78, the best returns by a Guyanese in the history of Regional First-Class cricket.
The Trinidad and Tobago batsmen did not escape Bishoo’s guile and accuracy in the second innings either, as he snatched 6-71 for outstanding match-figures of 15-149 at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
The feat came in Bishoo’s 50th First-Class match and in the process he also went past 200 wickets in a career so far spanning six years. He also contributed with the bat, scoring 27 and 25 not out to crown a fine all-round effort.
The fact that such monumental achievements did not produce a victory, as rain curtailed the final day with Guyana 80-3 chasing 225, might be the only disappointment for Bishoo and his team-mates.
What was significant however, was the fact that Bishoo was making a return to the team after being dropped for the first time by Guyana, presumably because he hadn’t the wickets to show.
In four matches prior to last weekend, the former ICC Emerging Player-of-the-Year had taken just 13 wickets, five of which came in one innings against Barbados at Providence.
That magical display against the twin-islanders catapulted Bishoo to 28 wickets, one behind Guyana’s leading wicket-taker in the tournament, fellow clubmate Veerasammy Permaul. An average of 18.39 was way below his career average of 28.20.
After being axed for the match against the Leeward Islands in Antigua, Bishoo said he worked on “certain things” to get his game back on track.
“Obviously, I was disappointed to be dropped from the team, but I went back and did a lot of work on certain things, because I was determined to regain my spot,” he told this publication on Tuesday.
He added, “I did a lot of bowling in the nets at Albion, so I was still keeping myself in condition once I was called upon to do a job for my country.”
Reflecting on his performance, the diminutive bowler, with 11 Test matches, 13 ODIs and four T20 Internationals to his name, said he just stuck to doing the basics right.
“I didn’t try to do too many fancy things, I just tried to stick to the basics and as you can see it really paid off. I know I had to do well once I got that opportunity and fortunately I did. I’m very satisfied with the performance, because I was able to contribute and that is what you have to do as a team player. I got some runs as well so it feels good to contribute to the team,” Bishoo said.
The leg-spinner is keen on wearing the maroon West Indies cap once again, but he would have to produce similar performances on a more consistent basis to regain the attention of Clyde Butts and company on the WICB selection panel.