Heeding the resounding calls from our cricketing public, the administrators of the game of cricket in Guyana, the Guyana Cricket Board, has responded in excellent fashion by attracting one of the most complete batsmen of our time, Alvin Kallicharran to come and work with our youths in Guyana.
All Guyanese would recall the excellent performances of our Under 15 and Under 19 teams last year in the Regional WICB tournaments and the GCB has pulled off another major coup in being able to secure the expert services of none other than our own Alvin Kallicharran. The GCB is very serious of its cricket development program in spite of all the challenges being faced by this Board and the relentless ridicule vented by a few misguided persons. GCB has now expanded its cricket development program with this bold move. This is the very first time that the administration would be bringing an ‘overseas coach’ to our shores to be part of our youth cricket development program.
He would share his expertise with our youths during the period, April 5th to May 4th 2015. Kallicharran is going to work mainly with the Under 15s and the under 17s and will travel around the country to conduct special clinics at various locations with the main objective being to motivate and galvanize the youths back towards the game of cricket. The GCB has strategically planned Kallicharran’s visit to coincide with the conclusion of the under 15 and under 17 inter-county tournaments and a few short months away from the WICB Regional tournaments in the Summer.
The GCB remains steadfastly committed to rolling out its strategic plan for the complete overhaul of our cricket as we continue to build on our successes from last year and prepare our teams to be more successful this year and beyond. Another very innovative experiment started last year by the GCB, which has already been reaping rich dividends, is having the Under 19 team play in the Senior Inter-county tournaments as the 4th team. This experiment is being replicated at the other age group levels with the under 15 team playing as the 4th team in the Inter county under 17 tournament and the under 17 team play as the 4th team in the Inter-county Under 19 tournament. This innovation provides the lower age group to compete at a higher level thus forcing them to elevate the standard of their game. This can only benefit them and improve their confidence whilst preparing them for higher level competitiveness.
Kallicharran has always been recognized as one of the most talented and complete batsman of his time and has conquered many top notch bowlers around the world, both spinners and faster bowlers, during his illustrious cricketing career which spanned from 1966 to 1992. Kallicharran was the first youth team captain for Guyana that participated in the Regional tournament in 1966, he made his debut for the West Indies team in 1972 against New Zealand where he registered his maiden century in his very first test match. He scored his second Test century before that series ended and chalked up six centuries in his first 22 tests. He plied his trade in the English County circuit for several years playing for Warwickshire until 1992 which surely enhanced his game over the years. Kallicharran turned out for the Australian State of Queensland for a while and Transvaal in South Africa. His Test career was cut short in 1981 at the ripe age of 32 when he surely had several more years of quality cricket left in him. He finished 66 tests with 4,399 runs at an average close to 45 and 12 centuries. Kallicharran possibly had the record for the most 90s during his Test playing career. He also finished his First class career with a phenomenal 32,000 runs and 87 centuries just missing the 100 centuries mark by one; stranded on 99! Kallicharran was the Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1983.
Alvin had reached out to the administrators of the GCB and expressed his burning desire to be part of the turnaround in Guyana and West Indies cricket and it did not take long for our administrators to translate this glorious opportunity into reality. Alvin had remained in regular contact with our administrators since early last year with his noble gesture which had to be delayed due to the very hostile environment that enveloped the administration of cricket in Guyana during the past five years.
GCB’s TDO, Colin Stuart, has been mandated to work on a detailed program to develop an intense four weeks schedule that will capture all of our age groups that have just and are currently participating in the inter-county competitions. Our main objective is to capture the best 20 elite players in each of the under 15, under 17 and under 19 age groups cricketers for Kallicharran to work with during this period. This great son of our soil will be ably assisted by some of our national coaches. It is anticipated that Alvin will also work with some of the contracted players of the CGI Academy squad and will visit all the counties during his short stint.
The Board will make every effort to ensure that this developmental activity is sustained and can be a regular feature of the Board’s cricket calendar with this distinguished former Test son of the soil. The Board will make further announcements of Kallicharran pending arrival and more details of his coaching schedule in the forthcoming weeks, during the execution of his coaching clinics.