Secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board Anand Sanasie said that Guyana Jaguars three consecutive regional four-day success is a testimony of the board’s developmental plan over the years. The tournament is the West Indies Cricket Board premier cricket competition and can be considered as the decider of which territory reigns supreme in cricket talent and development.
Speaking with Kaieteur Sport on Saturday last the Georgetown Cricket Club following the conclusion of the GCB inter county U-17 50-over tournament, Sanaise stated that Players’ fitness, precise selection of talent, a sound support structure, a proper feeder system through the local tournaments and academy, discipline on and off the field are some of the things that you must constantly monitor in order to achieve success on a consistent basis.
He explained that while they sometimes refer to some of these players as “Academy Players” they are in fact right on par with some players in the senior team. “They train equally and continue to train when the senior team is on tour. They are paid a salary and have financial security to ply their trade. It ensures continuity in our talent so selection to the academy is also dependent on the specific skill set needed at the senior level. It was evident when many of our players were called up for duties with the West Indies that the young academy players were prepared and ready to fill in,” he added.
Sanasie, who is also a director on the WICB, pointed out that the Academy is basically for young players and players that are in reserve for the National Senior Team. “Under 19 players returning from the WI team, the Regional U19 Competitions and those players with outstanding performances in the Local Franchise Leagues are given priority. It is intended to ensure your reserves are prepared to take a place in the senior team. Selection to the academy means that these players have been identified to provide the next generation of Jaguars,” he went on.
Sanasie said that it is quite costly as players, officials and all directly involved are being paid. “More importantly it gives a larger cross section of players a chance to prove themselves playing alongside the senior and academy guys. It nurtures young talent and provides administrators, patrons and everyone across the country an opportunity to see our cricketers in action. This year we intend to have all three formats, weather and funds permitting”.
When quizzed about the developmental programmes Sanasie stated that it all starts at the grassroots level. “The Scotia Kiddies Cricket Programme which caters for players under 11 years old, The GCB and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports along with Demerara Mutual Life Insurance Company Annual National Secondary Schools Cricket Competition help to identify young talented players. At the secondary schools level they are channeled into cricket clubs in their areas where their training and coaching continues. The clubs then participate in club, associations and county cricket from where they are being selected to the national under 15, 17 and 19 teams. It is a sound structure and probably the best of any organized sport in Guyana,” he posited.
Sanasie said that after the Inter-county Under 15 is held, the selectors pick a 20- man squad and give them an opportunity to play against senior boys at the Inter-county Under 17 Competition, as the fourth team and this process is repeated with the Under 17s and U19s. He informed that they intend to have a select National U19 team play a few matches against the Academy Team in preparation to defend their regional U19 50-over title.
The GCB secretary related that the GCB supports a national sports policy to which all sporting entities are affiliated and not a piece of legislation that is intended for one sport referring to the Cricket Administration Bill.
“Cricket in Guyana has enjoyed unprecedented success despite the challenges and the GCB would continue to concentrate on its primary task, winning on the field of play.”
Sanasie has been the secretary of the Guyana Cricket Board for the past eight years and won the National Sports Commission’s Male Sports Administrator award in 2016, while the GCB received the honors as Association of the year.
During the past four years the National Youth teams also won numerous regional tournaments with the U19 winning three consecutive 50 overs title.