The six Guyanese in the West Indies side

What the people say about...
By Miranda La Rose
Stabroek News
August 6, 2001

Lloyd Bruce - security officer: "The West Indies did well and I was proud of the guys, moreso, because we had a record number of Guyanese, including captain Carl Hooper, on the team. If the Guyanese had done badly, it would have been reflected in the all-round performance. I was a bit disappointed with Reon King's showing but nevertheless Colin Stuart and Neil McGarrell did us proud. Stuart has improved a lot. My opinion is that he will be one of the fast bowlers to replace [Courtney] Walsh. King could do far better with his bowling. I don't know what was wrong with him. He also needs to do more work on his fielding. The batting by the Guyanese was good but Sarwan is still to make his Test century. Based on their performance in the last match in Zimbabwe, I would say that the fielding by all the players needs to be improved. I was proud about the way Gayle and Ganga held their own but I don't know why the selectors called back Courtney Browne. I would have preferred a youngster. I don't think [Brian] Lara is still dedicated to cricket. The team, I find, has been doing better without him and he should give way to others who want to play for the team with their heart and soul."

George Hughes - teacher: "I think the six Guyanese on the team justified their selection on the side by the way they played. Apart from Hooper I think Colin Stuart was outstanding in both Test matches in the series. King bowled well but he was not at his best. I think he needs some improvement there as well as in the fielding department. These days we need batsmen and bowlers who can hold their own in every department. McGarrell and Sarwan did well and Chanderpaul seem to be coming back into form. On the whole the Zimbabwe tour was an eye opener. At the start, I think many of us were a little apprehensive but based on their performances in Zimbabwe the side has left me with the view that we have a young side that, with good guidance will make their way back to the top. Gayle has in the series shown a coming of age and maturity, and Ganga too has awakened to his opening role with a confidence that needs to be sustained. The same could be said for Marlon Samuels and Sarwan. I now look forward to their tour in Sri Lanka. Their performance there would also be a good test for the young team."

Mohamed Ballee - Skeldon resident: "The overall performance of the team was good in spite of what all the critics say about Zimbabwe being a weak side. It was a good match especially for our side which consisted of mostly young talented but inexperienced players. I got a pleasant shock knowing that six Guyanese were in the side and wondered if that was because the captain was a Guyanese. However, they gave a good account of themselves and I was very proud about their performance. Hooper's captaincy was excellent leading from in front but I think he and the team could do less with some of the criticism being levelled at them by some of the commentators. They need more encouragement. Some of the older players have been weeded out and more should be weeded out including Lara, who even though he holds the world batting record, has become too big for the game. We need to nurture and mould this young crop with the few older heads there are right now. He is no longer performing on the field. Lara should be given some other role in which he promotes cricket but not on the field of play."

Angela Emmanuel: "I was very proud of Stuart, McGarrell and Sarwan from among the young bunch of Guyanese playing. I was particularly proud of the way Hooper led the young players and the way they responded. The selectors, I think, should stick to the young ones even when they are seeking replacement because we saw how Courtney Browne responded when called to fill in. The selectors should continue to put resources into them to develop their talents. While many were replacements and would not have had the chance to play but only played in this Test series because of injuries to more senior players, I think it was really a blessing in disguise to let our selectors really see what we have. With Cameron Cuffy and Corey Collymore back in form and in the side, I think the West Indies would have a strengthened bowling department. I don't think we should rule out Merv Dillon or Franklin Rose but they must all be given second chances as well to ensure that no one is left out. However, they will have to prove their worth."

William Beharry: "Among the Guyanese players in the West Indies side to Zimbabwe Colin Stuart stood out. He has improved considerably. Sarwan is coming around but he still needs more experience and to convert his double digit scores to triple digit scores. Guyana having six in the side was an achievement. However, as a former player for Berbice, I was very proud of the young West Indies side in general and in the way Chris Gayle and Daren Ganga have teamed up. It is a long time we have not seen opening partners scoring as we have seen them doing in the first class matches and Test. Hooper as captain has my full support. He is now the man we would have to depend on to bring the team back to a level where even the Zimbabweans would not mock us. I look forward to the Test in Sri Lanka where we will have to continue winning."

Romel Singh: "Carl Hooper was most outstanding, King needs more practice and Chanderpaul needs to get back in form quickly. Apart from that Colin Stuart, Neil McGarrell and Sarwan have shown promise and of better things to come. King did not live up to my expectations and I wonder what is bothering him. For the Sri Lanka tour I would like to see Cameron Cuffy and Corey Collymore replacing King and Marlon Black. I don't fancy Dillon too much. He too has to play with maturity. King and Dillon need some stiff training. King has been dropping catches and not fielding well. Though some people have been complaining about Lara, I don't think it would be wise to drop him. Just having him on the side will be a psychological advantage."

Omel Sahoye - farmer: "All the Guyanese looked good and they made the selectors and those of us who supported them proud. The eye-openers were Guyanese Colin Stuart, Jamaican Chris Gayle and Daren Ganga of all people. Sarwan and Marlon Samuels showed their own brand of maturity. In spite of all the confusion that surrounded Harper's appointment, I think he has shown as coach that working with a young team does produce results. Beating South Africa in the last Test in the Caribbean, winning the triangular tournament and the Test series in Zimbabwe were all about confidence building and it is the way to go. I think we can look forward immediately to Kenya, then Sri Lanka and like Hooper said take them within stride one at a time. We need to stick with Ganga and Gayle as openers and stop changing. We need to build young players like Samuels, Leon Garrick and Sarwan. We need Ridley Jacobs back in the side but because he is going on in age the selectors need to identify someone early to understudy him. In the last test Courtney Browne was a disaster. We need Lara back in the side and early too. You just cannot drop the world record holder."

Stephen Ragubeer - radio technician: "For the longest while many Guyanese have been put down by the selectors even though our cricketers have been performing well. So I was somewhat surprised that the selectors opted to go with six in the side under Hooper. It could have also been a test to see how captain and team members get on with each other. Stuart and McGarrell were definitely outstanding in the bowling department but King definitely showed that he is still not yet back in form and has to practise some more. Hooper is an outstanding captain and I think we in Guyana knew it all along. Chanderpaul has fallen back but he is still dependable as ever. Apart from the Guyanese, I think our players in general have shown that we have begun the building process... My best bet right now is that other Test teams have begun to keep an eye on Hooper and his young band of players. It would be interesting to see how they progress from now on. They need to be more aggressive in fielding as the Australians and South Africans are right now to be more competitive."