By Avenash Ramzan (Guyana Times)
Guyana’s opening batsman Tagenarine Chanderpaul was crowned Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the three-day version of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Under-19 competition on Wednesday evening when the presentation ceremony was held at the main pavillion of the GCC ground, Bourda.
At a simple presentation ceremony organised by the Guyana Cricket Board, the left-handed batsman, the son of prolific West Indies middle-order batsman and former captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul, was recognised for his brilliant 132 not out, which was crucial in Guyana defeating Trinidad and Tobago by an innings and 41 runs and lifting the title for the first time since 2007.
Shivnarine was on hand to witness his son collect the award, an accolade he also won in his final year at the youth level more than two decades ago. This is incidentally Tagenarine’s last year at the youth level, and he amassed 247 runs, one short of the leading run scorer Kacey Carty of the Leeward Islands.
Young Chanderpaul has also chalked up 233 runs from six innings in the 50-over tournament, including 103 not out against Barbados on Wednesday at the National Stadium, and he would look to add to that tally on Friday when the Guyanese face the Windward Islands in the limited overs final at the Everest ground.
Carty was given an award for scoring the most runs, while Chad Williams of Barbados was the highest wicket-taker with 26 victims. Leniko Boucher of Barbados with six catches and five stumpings had the most dismissals by a wicketkeeper, while the most promising fast bowler was Alzarri Joseph of the Leeward Islands.
Guyana’s captain Brian Sattaur was presented with the three-day trophy, while the match officials, namely Umpires and Match Referees, were given medals and plaques for their contributions towards the smooth running of the tournament.
Delivering remarks at the ceremony, President of the Guyana Cricket Board, Drubahadur, lauded the Government of Guyana and the West Indies Cricket Board for agreeing to have the tournament hosted in Guyana, after the third and final Test match between West Indies and New Zealand was pulled from Guyana owing to administrative issues.
He told the players that cricket is not just a sport, but can be a career, as he urged them to make maximum use of the opportunities being afforded to them.
Director of Sport Neil Kumar said the future of Guyana and West Indies cricket looks good with the talents that have been unearthed in this year’s competition. He specifically earmarked young Chanderpaul and his compatriots Shimron Hetmyer and Kemo Paul as players he expects great things from going forward. He also urged stakeholders to work diligently in getting Guyana back to the pinnacle of regional cricket.
Secretary of the Guyana Cricket and Director of the WICB, Anand Sanasie, in congratulating the Guyana team on their success, said this year’s competition has “produced a bundle of talents” and it’s just a case now of harnessing those for the good of the game.
He challenged the players to stay fit and also qualify themselves academically, as more often than not its smarter players who enjoy success at the game.
Meanwhile, it was highlighted that there was no award for the best all-rounder of the tournament. However, Kumar said the National Sports Commission will put up a trophy for that category and Paul will be the recipient given his outstanding performance with bat and ball and in the field for Guyana this year.
Sattaur and his troops will look to create history on Friday when they face the Windward Islands in the final of the 50-over tournament. Should they win that game, Sattaur will be the first captain to win the ‘double’ for Guyana.
Given the Guyanese fine form- they are the only team to win all six games- Sattaur’s place in history seems assured.