National U-19 squad face fitness test this week-end
- Video tapes to be used to correct players faults
By Sean Devers
Stabroek News
May 29, 2003

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The 14-member national under-19 squad and the five stand by players named for the regional under-19 cricket competition in August will undergo fitness tests from Friday.

This was disclosed by the Guyana Cricket Board’s Cricket Development Officer Clyde Butts who added that after the assessment, the players would be given a programme to work with when they return to their respective homes on Sunday.

The Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) selected this year’s national under-19 cricket squad more than two months ahead of the 2003 West Indies under-19 competition scheduled for August in Guyana.

Butts told Stabroek Sport that the squad was selected by the national youth selectors from the GTM inter-county competition unlike previous years when trial matches were used to pick the squad after the inter county competitions.

Butts informed that each player’s fitness level will be assessed this weekend before a fitness programme is mapped out for their personal development.

“The 19 players will be asked to follow the programme when they return home and the area coaches will be asked to ensure the players in their area don’t just go home and relax,” Butts disclosed.

The squad, led by left handed Assad Fudadin, is expected to return to the capital city on the second weekend in June when it is hoped that the weather will improve to allow the opportunity of batting and bowling sessions.

The GCB are putting plans in place to maximize Guyana’s chances of taking their first title at this level since 1997 when, under the captaincy of West Indies Vice-Captain Ramnaresh Sarwan, they won at home.

“We are hoping to get in some nets sessions when the squad return for their second weekend of activities in June. The players will be video taped and their faults analyzed and worked on,” Butts explained.

The team will spend every other weekend together before beginning a 14-day encampment period from the second weekend in July.

The squad is a relatively inexperienced one with only three players apart from Fudadin (in his third year at this level) having played regional under-19 cricket before.

Vice Captain Sauid Drepaul, Zaheer Mohamed and Zaheer Saffie all made their debuts last year at the under-19 level and are among nine players in the 14-man squad who have played for Guyana at the under-15 level.

Guyana is the most successful team since regional youth cricket began in 1968 and holds the record for the most consecutive championship titles from 1992-1997.

However, the South American team has failed to win a title since then and last year (for the first time since semi finals were introduced in 1999 in Barbados) failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the three-day competition.

The Guyanese were however unfortunate not to win the one-day title last year in Jamaica when the final against the Windward Islands was washed out before 25 overs were completed.

The Windwards were declared champions because they finished with more points than Guyana in the three-day competition.

This year, the Guyana team is under new management with Demerara youth coach Orin Bailey and Alvin Johnson making their debuts as national youth team coach and manager respectively.

Berbicians have generally dominated Guyana age group teams in the last decade but this year only six players from the Ancient County have gained selection in comparison to seven from Demerara.

Yogeshwar Lall is the lone Essequibian in the 14-man squad.

The batting will be spearheaded by Fudadin who scored his maiden regional under-19 hundred last year against the Windward Islands.

Zaheer Mohamed, who was selected on the All Star team after last year’s competition, Zaheer Saffie, Lall, Anthony D’Aanrade, Azeemudin Khan and Kemraj Mahadeo are all capable batsmen.

The side is also full of all-rounders and everyone except pacer Kelon Henry and leg-spinner Devindra Bishu could be considered batsmen.

Wicket-keeper Tyrell Tull, leg-spinner George Norton, pacer Trevor Henry, leg-spinner Drepaul and off-spinner Zamal Khan can all bat well while Mohamed, Saffie and Fudadin are also batting all rounders.

Once again both a three-day and one-day competition will be held but according the president of the GCB Chetram Singh the fixtures for the competition which is expected to commence in the first week of August, has not yet been finalized.

Singh said that Canada and the Rest of the Americas should be the two non-regional teams involved but added that their participation has not yet been finalized.

Both teams participated last year and the Americans looked very sub standard and lost all of their games.

A West Indies Development team was introduced into the competition in 1998 in Trinidad and also participated in 1999 and 2000.

Only the six regional teams - Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana, Barbados, Windwards and Leewards - participated in the 2001 round robin competition in Guyana.

The Rest of the Americas was included for the first time last year and the Development team omitted from last year’s competition.

It is understood that trials are scheduled for Texas this week to select the American side.

The Guyana squad read- Assad Fudadin (Captain), Sauid Drepaul (V/Capt.), Zaheer Mohamed, Zaheer Saffie, Khemraj Mahadeo, Zamal Khan, Anthony D’Anrade, Azeemudin Khan, Yogeshwar Lall, Devendra Bishu, George Norton, Tyrell Tull, Trevor Henry, Kelon Henry.

The five stand bys are - Ricardo Jadunauth, Abdel Fudadin, Rakesh Goberdhan, Karran Ganesh and Shastri Persaud.

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