With pomp and splendor at the Pegasus Hotel on Monday evening the Guyana Cricket Board honored their five championship winning World Cup players and the entire Leon Johnson led Guyana Jaguars team which won the PCL four day First-Class Franchise for the last two seasons.
West Indies U-19 Captain Shimron Hetymer, his Vice-Captain Keemo Paul and wicketkeeper Tevin Imlach were Guyanese on the Regional team which won the ICC U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh in February.
Fast bowling all-rounder Tremayne Smartt and leg-spinner all-rounder Shamaine Campbell were the ladies from the land of many waters in the West Indies female team that defeated three-time defending Champions Australia earlier this month in India in the ICC T20 World Cup on a memorable day for West Indies.
Later the same evening, inspired by their girl’s success, the Windies Men’s beat England in the final at the same venue as three teams from the Caribbean made a clean sweep of every World Cup held in 2016.
Present at the dinner were the Jaguars’ team minus Assad Fudadin and fellow Berbician Devendra Bishoo (both excused), members of the reigning Regional U-19 Champions, President of the GOA, K Juman Yassin, BCB President Anil Beharry, WICB Board Member and Chairman and Managing Director of Banks DIH Limited Clifford Reis, GCC President Lionel Jaikarran, NSC representative James Bond, GCB executives, the media, sponsors, the GCB staff and specially invited guests.
Smartt, Campbell and Hetymer were given solid Gold necklaces with the words ‘World Champions’ inscribed on the pendants. All 17 players who played for the Jaguars this season, including their Manager and Coach, each collected a ring with ‘2016’ engraved on it as appreciation for their back-to-back four-day titles and unbeaten streak of 17 matches which began in November 2014. The Jaguars suffered their last defeat in PCL cricket against Barbados in the third round of 2014/15 season.
Hetymer, who registered his maiden First-Class ton in the final round against Jamaica just after his return from Bangladesh, was also presented with a ring as were his two Windies U-19 teammates Imlach and Paul.
The ‘fantastic five’ from the World Cup were each presented with a pair of Serengeti sunglasses by a representative from Gizmos and Gadgets. Jacqueline James, the Marketing Manager of Digicel, who had already made presentations to the trio of U-19 players a month ago and provided the five cricketers with mobile phones at a ceremony held at 704 Sports Bar when the Guyana Government honored the World Cup stars, was also present on Monday evening.
The Jaguars registered a record eight wins in each of their last two seasons. Only two teams have ever won eight matches in a single season. Jamaica achieved the feat twice (2005 & 2012). This was Guyana’s eighth First-Class title but first time that this nation had achieved the feat in consecutive seasons.
Johnson joined Clive Lloyd (1975 & 1983) and Roger Harper (1987 & 1993) as the only Guyana Captains to win the title twice after Rohan Kanhai led Guyana to its first title in 1973. Carl Hooper is the only other Guyanese Captain to lift the Trophy in 1998.
Johnson thanked the GCB, Cricket Guyana Inc. and sponsors for the support given to his side and expressed delight to have been able to win the back-to-back victories for his country.
Johnson, the only batsman to score 800 runs (807) this season, encouraged the younger players to take the game seriously and that he is looking forward to the new season. The Jaguars have already begun preparations for the next season which starts later this year.
Secretary of the GCB Anand Sanasie informed the gathering, which was feted with a sumptuous dinner and afforded the opportunity to take photographs with the cricketers, that the WICB is impressed with the Guyanese U-19 trio.
“They have demonstrated excellent leadership qualities and are all members of the GCB academy system” the WICB Director disclosed.
Bond who spoke on behalf of Director of Sports Christopher Jones who is out of the country, commended the players and lauded the GCB for their efforts in developing the game in Guyana. The NSC member noted that Sports demonstrates true cohesiveness and is one of the few things that can boast of uniting people, especially cricket among Guyanese.
(Taken from Kaieteur News)