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The shift from Mindoo Philip Park came about because it rained steadily for most of yesterday morning in the capital, necessitating the shift last night.
Guyana’s captain Carl Hooper, who arrived here on Monday from his home in Australia, a day ahead of the rest of the Guyana contingent, lashed out at the practice facilities.
“We have been here for two days now and we have not been able to have a net because the facilities are very poor,” Hooper told Chronicle Sport in a telephone interview from the Rainbow Hotel.
“It’s really disappointing and frustrating. Even looking down the road to the ICC Trophy, we’ve got a lot people coming off a break and they can’t just be hitting form without practising in good conditions,” lamented Hooper.
“Some of our guys have had some games at home but I don’t think they used the white ball and I think it is pretty basic that we should be having net practice for the preparation of games when we come to a country,” Hooper reasoned.
In admonishing regional cricket administrators, who are responsible for making sure that practice facilities are up to the required standard, Hooper said they must get their act together.
“Looking at the overall picture, we are supposed to be making strides forward but we are not going anywhere. It is probably getting worse,” Hooper charged.
“Everyone wants to kick the cricketers when they are not doing well but it starts at the top. This is really frustrating. I don’t want to make friends or scratch anybody’s back.
“Everybody is quick to be pointing fingers at players when they don’t perform but it is time for people to be held accountable when they don’t do their job in the same way that you want to make cricketers accountable for their failures.
You need to get the people at the top to get their act together,” declared Hooper.
“What is worrying is that the World Cup is just a few months away and more importantly, the ICC Trophy starts the minute this Red Stripe Bowl is over,” an angry Hooper noted.
In the absence of net practice, Hooper revealed that the Guyana team had to resort to playing on the grass.
“We have been having a hit on the grass and a couple of physical sessions but even the outfield is bumpy and not good for fielding,” Hooper said.
Meanwhile, Guyana’s opponents, Canada will be buoyant following their 34-run triumph over Antigua on Wednesday which came on the heels of a 2-1 One-Day series win against the West Indies ‘A’ in Toronto.
“Certainly, we won’t be underestimating them. We’ve seen that they are a good side but we want to play good cricket and start the Red Stripe Bowl on a winning note,” Hooper remarked.
Guyana, six-time regional champions with title glory in 1980, 1983, 1985, 1993, 1998 and last year, have arguably the best-balanced side in the competition.
Hooper and his fellow Test players, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan lead the batting with support from promising left-handed opener Sewnarine Chattergoon, the dashing Andrew Gonsalves, Lennox Cush, Travis Dowlin and Narsingh Deonarine.
In the bowling department, pacers Reon King and Colin Stuart, both with experience at the Test and One-Day International levels, will spearhead the bowling with spinners Neil McGarrell and Mahendra Nagamootoo, supported by Hooper’s off-spin.
Canada’s batting line-up includes two former Guyana batsmen in opener Fazil Sattaur and Nicholas de Groot, who is now batting in the middle order, plus the attacking Desmond Chumney, skipper Joseph Harris, who is a former Barbados player and promising wicketkeeper/batsman Ashish Bagai.
The 37-year-old Sattaur, who last played for Guyana in 1994, batted aggressively against Antigua for a cameo 36 while de Groot registered a second-ball duck but both will want to do well against their former team-mates.
Canada’s strength appears to lie in their bowling and fielding with Grenadian-born fast bowler Davis Joseph, all-rounder Austin Codrington, the accurate left-arm spinner Barry Seebaran and off-spinner John Davison being the main bowlers.
Guyana (from) - Carl Hooper (captain), Sewnarine Chattergoon, Andrew Gonsalves, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Lennox Cush, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Travis Dowlin, Narsingh Deonarine, Mahendra Nagamootoo, Vishal Nagamootoo, Neil McGarrell, Colin Stuart, Reon King, Reon Griffith.
Canada (from) - Joseph Harris (captain), Fazil Sattaur, Ishwar Maraj, Desmond Chumney, Nicholas de Groot, Ashish Bagai, John Davison, Barry Seebaran, Austin Codrington, Davis Joseph, Ashish Patel, Abdool Samad, Melvin Croning, Ian Billcliff.