Percival surprised, disappointed by omission By Roger Persaud
Stabroek News
December 18, 2006

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Former West Indies under-19 cricket captain Andre Percival says he is both surprised and disappointed by his omission from the squad shortlisted by the selection panel of the Guyana Cricket Board to prepare for the upcoming regional cricket season.

Percival, who led the young West Indies on a tour of England in 1994-95, was in Georgetown to participate in a coaching seminar conducted by former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd. He was left out of the 27-man squad from which the team to represent Guyana in next year's regional tournament will be selected.

The 31-year-old left-handed middle order batsman and right-arm off-spinner, is averaging just 27.04 runs with the bat after 31 first-class matches with seven half centuries and a highest score of 96.

He has also taken just three wickets in his 31 matches with a best bowling figure of 1-11.

But he is a utility player who can bowl, bat and field as he showed in Guyana's victorious Stanford twenty20 competition where ended a gripping quarter-final match against Jamaica with a Play-of-the-match six.

Percival, who plays club cricket in Trinidad, is also the captain and coach of the Rose Hall Town cricket team.

After leading the Berbice team in both versions of the Inter-County competition the versatile all-rounder says he has to consider what options are available to him now.

The other surprising omission was that of off-spinner Zaheer Mohammed.

The talented right-arm off-spinner is also a solid batsman and a very good fielder.

Mohammed, who has played three first class matches for Guyana and bagged seven wickets for 196 runs from 64.4 overs, had a good season for Everest this year. He also performed creditably in the rain-affected Inter-County competition.

Only one player from Essequibo pacer Trevon Garraway was named to the squad, despite very good performances by opening batsman Norman Fredericks and the young off-spinner Andrew Williams.

Essequibo cricket needs all the help it can get and as such their young players should be encouraged as much as possible. The squad could easily have been extended to 30 players to accommodate young and developing talent.