Great expectations of Guyana team in Grenada By Roger Persaud
Stabroek News
January 3, 2007

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The Guyana cricket team before flying to Grenada: Manager Carl Moore and players Dion Ferrier, Imran Jafferally, Travis Dowlin, Esaun Crandon, Veerasammy Permaul, Royston Crandon, Asad Fudadin, Jeremy Gordon, Derwin Christian, Azeemul Haniff, and Krishna

Twelve members of the Guyana national cricket team left for Grenada yesterday to prepare to battle the Windward Islands from tomorrow in the Carib Beer and KFC regional cricket competitions.

The team will join captain Narsingh Deonarine, former West Indies speedster Reon King, former West Indies leg-spinner Mahendra Nagamootoo and Coach Albert Smith, who are already in Grenada.

Guyana will begin the New Year with a new skipper in Deonarine at the helm. The 23-year-old West Indies all-rounder, top scored in both innings of his last Test match, in a losing effort in Sri Lanka during the contract dispute when seven of the top players were left out. He has played four Test matches and four one-day internationals for the West Indies while playing 56 first-class matches with an aggregate of 3919 runs at an average of 33.37, including 141 not out. Bowling his crafty off-spinners he picked up 57 wickets with an economy rate of 2.77 runs per over including a best performance of five wickets for 94 runs. Deonarine sent shockwaves around the globe with his tournament-winning six off the penultimate ball in the million dollar final against Trinidad in the inaugural Stanford Twenty/20 cricket competition last August.

Manager Carl Moore said he was very optimistic about this young but experienced team. He is counting on the older players to lead but added that the younger charges Veerasammy Permaul, Royston Crandon and Jeremy Gordon were selected to make an impact. He said this team would have to put their best foot forward and pick up the slack caused by the absence of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan, and Sewnarine Chattergoon and he is confident in their ability to do so. Much will be expected of West Indies 'A' team member Travis Dowlin, consistent opener Krishna Arjune, the recalled Azeemul Haniff, the all-rounder Asad Fudadin and the experienced newcomer Dion Ferrier.

King and Crandon will lead the pace attack ably supported by the emerging Gordon. The region's leading wicket-taker Nagamootoo leads the spin attack with the skipper, Imran Jafferally, and Royston Crandon as capable off-spinners. Left-arm spinner Permaul, the bowling find of the regional under-19 competition gets his chance to test the waters with the big boys and should give an excellent account if his recent form is any indication. After playing the Windwards in Grenada, Guyana takes on Trinidad in the twin-island republic in round two beginning January 12. The team will then travel to Jamaica for round three which begins January 20, before returning home for round four, versus the Leewards on January 28, and round five against Barbados on February 5.