Table-toppers Guyana Jaguars will be encamped from Monday ahead of the resumption of the West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) Professional Cricket League (PCL) Four-day competition next month.
The second half of the Four-day competition will start on February 11, but the Guyana Jaguars’ match against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at the National Stadium at Providence, will start a day later.
When these two teams clashed in early December at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago, the Guyana Jaguars prevailed by an innings and 49 runs with seamer Christopher Barnwell and left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul claiming five-wicket hauls and opener Assad Fudadin scoring a hundred.
To ensure his players are adequately prepared for the upcoming return match, Head Coach Esaun Crandon informed this newspaper on Tuesday that a period of encampment will commence on Monday.
Sessions will be held at the Georgetown Cricket Club ground, Bourda. According to Crandon, there will also be a warm-up game, starting next Tuesday.
Guyana Jaguars are leading the points table after a flawless record in the first five matches, winning all by comprehensive margins. They currently sit on 85 points, 22 more than second place Barbados Pride.
Jamaica Scorpions are third on 53 points, followed by Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (37), Windward Islands Volcanoes (29) and Leeward Islands Hurricanes (13).
Playing their first three matches at home, the Guyana Jaguars defeated Windward Islands Volcanoes by 104 runs, Leeward Islands Hurricanes by an innings and 35 runs, and Barbados Pride by nine wickets. In the two away matches to close off the first half of the tournament, the Leon Johnson-led team whipped Trinidad and Tobago Red Force by an innings and 49 runs, and Jamaica Scorpions by 117 runs.
After being knocked out at the semi-finals of the NAGICO Super50 last week, Crandon said he would urge his players to “refocus and regroup” as they head into the final phase of the Four-day competition, fully energised for the task at hand.
With a perfect slate of five victories from five games, the Guyana Jaguars are primed to repeat as champions, after they took championship honours in the 2014/2015 season with a performance of a similar nature.
So far this season, newcomer left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie has been the standout performer, finishing the first half as the leading wicket-taker with 34 wickets from five games.
Left-hander Vishaul Singh, with 421 runs at an average of 60.14 with two hundreds, is the Guyana Jaguars’ leading runscorer and the competition’s second highest run-getter behind Roston Chase (436) of Barbados Pride.
Meanwhile, Crandon further highlighted that the Jaguars will certainly miss the experience of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who announced his retirement last weekend, but noted that there is now the opportunity for a young players to come to the fore.
The 41-year-old left-handed Chanderpaul scored over 25,000 First-Class runs, inclusive of 71 hundreds and 133 fifties.
During the first half of the PCL Four-day, he ended as the Guyana Jaguars’ third highest runscorer behind Singh and Johnson, with 226 runs at an average of 45.
(Taken from Guyana Times)