Stuart withdraws from national team
- wants to spend more time on his studies
By Sean Devers
February 21, 2003
When the 2003 Carib Beer regional first class cricket tournament began last month, twenty-nine year-old test fast bowler Colin Stuart was eager to prove his worth with an outstanding season and force his way back into the West Indies team for the up coming series against Austriala and Sri Lanka later this year.
By the time the Guyana team had completed a three wicket victory over the Leeward Islands in St. Kitts, Stuart was no longer thinking of once again playing for the West indies.
In fact, the Malteenoes pacer was not even thinking of playing for Guyana, not for the rest of the year at least. He wanted to return home but was persuaded to remain with the team until the team completed their three ‘away’ matches.
Stuart, who played the last of his six test matches in Sri Lanka when he was pulled out of the attack for bowling two accidental beamers, explained why he decided to quit the Guyana team in an exclusive interview with Stabroek Sport yesterday.
“I told the manager that due to personal reasons, mainly connected with studies, I would not be available to play for Guyana for the rest of the year...meaning the rest of the Carib Beer competition and the Red Stripe Bowl later in the year,” Stuart explained.
The fast bowler with 20 test wickets to his name said he has not retired from first class cricket but was just taking a break since he felt it was getting more and nore difficult to incorporate cricket and studies.
“I have final exams in an important social work course I am doing and now that I am going on to course two cricket is taking up so much of my time that I can’t study properly,” Stuart disclosed.
The quickie who represented the West Indies in five One Day Internationals said that his performance in the first two matches for Guyana this year also influenced his decision.
“I was hoping to get wickets and get back in the West Indies team but things have not gone my way in the first two rounds of the Carib Beer competition. I performed way below what I was expecting and that I think helped me to make up my mind to take a rest and concentrate on my studies” Staurt said.
Staurt took 4-94 in the first match but sent down 20 no-balls. He then went wicktless in the next three innings he bowled and put down some easy catches in what has been his worst year at this level since he made his first class debut in 1995 against the Leewards.
“Phycially I feel good and I am fit and eager to do well. I don’t know what went wrong but I kept over stepping and sprayed the ball around a bit in the first two matches. I was trying my best but I guess you go through periods in your career when whatever you do don’t work out right. I feel now is the time to take a break and maybe ...who knows ...come back next year...I don’t know” Stuart said.
The former Guyana and West Indies youth player disclosed that he will still be involved in club cricket for Malteenoes and wished the Guyana team all the best for the rest of the season.
“My mind maybe was not totally on cricket and I always believe that you should be fully focussed on whatever you do. It (staying in the team) was not in the best interest of my studies and the Guyana team and I felt I needed to step back from the game at this level for a while” stuart added.
Stuart says he still loves the game and maybe when his studies are over the motivation to play at the highest level will return and he might be back with a bang.
Asked if he still had dreams of playing test cricket again the pacer said he had to make a decision for Guyana first before thinking of West Indies.
For now though it will be all studies and no national cricket for Guyana.