Harper happy with Busta Cup incentives

Stabroek News
January 10, 2000

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CANA) - New Guyana cricket coach Mark Harper is happy with the batting and bowling incentives offered by the West Indies Cricket Board (WIC) in this year's Busta Cup first-class series which started last week with four matches.

The WICB said Monday it will award US$50 000 to the first Caribbean batsman to score 1000 runs and a similar amount to the first bowler to take 65 wickets in the 2001 Busta Cup and International Shield series.

"I think it's great. I think it will be good for the players, something extra for them to shoot for and I think a lot of players will be looking to see if they can get close to that," Harper said here Monday on a radio call-in sports programme.

"It will be difficult but I don't think it is impossible. Eighteen hits, a thousand runs. I think if you score four, five hundreds and a couple of fifties you will be very close to that," added Harper.

Speaking on the same programme on telephone link-up from Antigua, WICB Executive Secretary Andrew Sealy said there have been some encouraging performances with both bat and ball during the first round of matches which ended on Monday.

"I don't want to say that these incentives are part of it but we (officers of the Secretariat) have taken some time to go around and talk with each of the individual teams to explain the whole rationale behind the involvement of England "A" especially and also the involvement of West Indies "B" as well as the whole concept of the special incentives," Sealy noted.

Leeward Islands' captain and opening batsman Stuart Williams slammed centuries (160 and 114) in both innings of his team's 183-run victory against Trinidad and Tobago.

Guyana's captain Carl Hooper also hit a big century - 159 - against Barbados, whose experienced middle order batsman Roland Holder also made 117 and 13 not out.

Leewards' fast bowler Ricky Christopher had a nine-wicket match haul while Windwards' teenage off-spinner Shane Shillingford captured seven for 66 on his first-class debut in Jamaica's first innings and Barbados pacer Corey Collymore took career-best figures of six for 109 against Guyana.

Trinidad and Tobago's leg-spinners Dinanath Ramnarine and Rajendra Dhanraj also claimed seven and six wickets respectively in a losing match effort against the Leewards.

Dhanraj holds the record for the most wickets in a regional season, taking 48 in 1996 while Barbados' batsman Floyd Reifer has the highest aggregate of 756 runs in a season.

Follow the goings-on in Guyana
in Guyana Today