Carib Cricket Series opens today
Guyana oozing with confidence
By Naz Yacoob
Guyana Chronicle
January 31, 2003

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PORT of Spain, Trinidad - Albert Smith, coach of the Guyana's national cricket team, has a secret plan, which will be unveiled in today's opening round of the new Carib Regional Cricket Series against Trinidad and Tobago at Guaracara Park, Pointe-a-Pierre, from 10:00 hrs.

The four-day tournament is being sponsored for the first time by Carib Brewery.

The giant beer manufacturer has entered into a five-year agreement with the West Indies Cricket Board to sponsor the regional cricket competitions.

Smith told Chronicle Sports yesterday that the strength in his team lies with his four West Indies bowlers, headed by skipper Neil McGarrell, leg-spinner Mahendra Nagamootoo, and pacers Reon King and Colin Stuart.

Smith, who has been the head of the team's technical staff for the past two years, said that everyone is oozing with confidence and looking ahead positively, going into today's match.

"We are very confident, but we are not going to be complacent. If we keep focus, we will achieve our objectives. We have a game plan, which will be put into action during the contest, " Smith stated.

Smith said that last year's International Shield champions’ batting will be centred on stalwarts Lennox Cush, Andre Percival, Travis Dowlin, with support from the younger players in Azeemul Haniff, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Krishna Arjune and Homchand Pooran.

Former West Indies ‘B’ team opening batsman Arjune is the only newcomer in the 13-man Guyana squad.

Meanwhile, manager of the team, Pat Legall, has lashed out at the local authorities about yesterday's practice venue at Barataria Oval.

Legall said that the playing surface was not fit enough for a second division team.

Meanwhile, former West Indies youth off-spinner Rodney Sooklal has been drafted into the Trinidad and Tobago team as a backup for Mukesh Persad.

According to manager, Omar Khan, spinner Persad and opener Imran Jan are nursing slight injuries, and will have to undergo fitness tests just before the start of the match.

The groundstaff at the southern venue, situated in the middle of the ‘Oil Refinery’ at Pointe-a-Pierre have predicted the track will be very lively in the opening session, offering help to the fast bowlers.

When the two teams met in last year's tournament, Guyana won the match at the Albion Community Centre.

Carib officials will be on hand to distribute incentives to the spectators during the match.

Teams: Trinidad and Tobago: Daren Ganga (captain), Imran Jan, Andy Jackson, Dwayne Bravo, Lincoln Roberts, Lendl Simmons, Zaheer Ali, Navin Chan, Dinanath Ramnarine, Mukesh Persad, Marlon Black, Ravi Rampaul and Theodore Modeste. Stand-by: Rodney Sooklal. Manager: Omar Khan. Coach: Phil Simmons.

Guyana: Neil McGarrell (captain), Reon King, Mahendra Nagamootoo, Colin Stuart, Lennox Cush, Travis Dowlin, Andre Percival, Homchand Pooran, Vishal Nagamootoo, Rayon Griffith, Krishna Arjune, Azeemul Haniff, Sewnarine Chattergoon. Manager: Pat Legall. Coach: Albert Smith.

Umpires: Billy Doctrove (Dominica) and Terrence Birbal (Trinidad and Tobago). Standby: Khemraj Barrasingha.

Match Referee: Mohammed Hosein.

Match Adjudicator: Rangy Nanan.

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