March 27, 2017

Hero CPL 2017 launches with eye-catching Draft

cplThe fifth instalment of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) launched in spectacular fashion in Barbados on Friday morning as the Player Draft concluded with some eye-catching movement across all six franchises.

The great Sir Garfield Sobers joined the assembled guests, dignitaries, sponsors and international media to help launch the biggest party in sport.

This year each squad’s Player budget is $750,000 (USD). In addition to an unlimited group of retained players, once more there is a guaranteed roster spot for a Young West Indies emerging player as well as a representative from the ICC Americas, which ties in with one of the Hero CPL’s mandates of providing opportunities for young players across the Caribbean and north America.

CPLThough each team was permitted to retain the core of their squad this year, it still allowed for some eye-catching transfers.

Amongst some of the notable acquisitions are that of Australian all-rounder Ben Cutting who has been recruited by St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots, while West Indies ICC World T20 winner Marlon Samuels has joined the St. Lucia Stars. Samuels was not the only high profile Caribbean capture, with the Jamaica Tallawahs signing up batsman Lendl Simmons. Chadwick Walton has made the move, meanwhile, to Guyana Amazon Warriors and looks set to be a strong addition to their batting line-up.

cpl1For the first time ever, there will be an Afghanistan presence in the Hero CPL, with Mohammad Nabi (St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots) and Rashid Khan (Guyana Amazon Warriors) being snapped up. Barbados Tridents have also supplemented their bowling attack with the signing of Pakistan’s WahabRiaz.

In addition to the high-profile acquisition of New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson, coupled with the return of Dwayne Smith following his transfer from Guyana Amazon Warriors, the Tridents have retained Pakistan’s Shaoib Malik and South African all-rounder Wayne Parnell as they bid to win the coveted title they last won in 2014. Kieron Pollard will lead an exciting team which includes wicket-keeper/batsman Nicholas Pooran, who impressed following his comeback from a long injury lay-off joined the likes of Ravi Rampaul and emerging West Indies player Shamar Springer for the forthcoming campaign.

cpl4Guyana Amazon Warriors have been one of the most consistent sides since the tournament’s inception in 2013 and that is reflected in the retention of a number of stalwarts including Black Caps opener Martin Guptill, in-form Australian batsman Chris Lynn and Pakistan’s towering left-armerSohailTanvir who was one of the most consistent performers in 2016 with bat and ball. In addition, the squad will include West Indies duo RayadEmrit and Jason Mohammed, as well as exciting batsman ShimronHetmyer who led the West Indies to the Under-19 ICC Cricket World Cup title last year.

It will be a case of opportunity knocking for reigning champions, the Jamaica Tallawahs, who will be aiming for their third Hero CPL title. Rovman Powell was a standout player last year and the exuberance of youth will be balanced by a spine of a hat-trick of Asian talent in Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara, Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and Pakistan’s ImadWasim who have all been retained. USA international bowler Timroy Allen has also been retained as the ICC Americas representative.

cpl1St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots completed one of the most eye-catching transfers in the close season by acquiring the services of two-time champion Chris Gayle, and the powerful left-hander will join ‘marquee’ overseas signing Proteas all-rounder Chris Morris and his international colleague TabraizShamsi in the Patriots squad. A string of local Caribbean talent will include influential leg-spinner Samuel Badree, Jonathan Carter, Kieran Powell and promising fast bowler Alzarri Joseph for what will be ICC World T20 winning coach Phil Simmons’ first season in charge of the ambitious Patriots. Carlos Brathwaite has been retained as a West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) ‘Free’ Player, who are players either contracted to the WICB, or, likely to be selected by the WICB for international duty.

St. Lucia Stars will once again be led by charismatic leader Daren Sammy and they will welcome back South African batsman David Miller and Australian all-rounder Shane Watson to the fold. Recently re-named and under new ownership, the Stars will also welcome Sri Lanka’s LasithMalinga for a squad brimming with quality. Local favourite Johnson Charles was a strong performer at the top of the order last year and he will line up once more alongside the likes of Andre Fletcher, Shane Shillingford and Jerome Taylor.

2015 champions Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) have opted to retain all but three of last year’s squad and will once more by led by Dwayne ‘DJ’ Bravo. TKR will look to the guile of Sunil Narine while Darren Bravo will firm up a batting line-up which includes ‘marquee’ player Brendon McCullum, who will be joined again by fellow Black Cap Colin Munro. South Africa’s HashimAmla also returns to the panel who will be coached by Australian Simon Katich.


BARBADOS TRIDENTS: Kieron Pollard, Kane Williamson*, Shoaib Malik, Dwayne Smith, Nicholas Pooran, Wayne Parnell, Ravi Rampaul, WahabRiaz, Raymond Reifer, Christopher Barnwell, Imran Khan, Damian Jacobs, AkealHosein,Ryan Wiggins, Tino Best, Shamar Springer (Young W.I.), Akeem Dolton (ICC Americas)

GUYANA AMAZON WARRIORS: SohailTanvir, Martin Guptill*, Chadwick Walton, Chris Lynn, RayadEmrit, Rashid Khan, Jason Mohammed, Steven Taylor, VeerasammyPermaul, Roshan Primus, Gajanand Singh, Assad Fudadin, Keon Joseph, Steven Jacobs, Steven Ketwaroo, ShimronHetmeyer (Young W.I.), Muhammad Ali Khan (ICC Americas)

JAMAICA TALLAWAHS: Lendl Simmons, Kumar Sangakkara*, Shakib Al Hasan, ImadWasim, Muhammad Sami, Rovman Powell, Gidron Pope, Kesrick Williams, GareyMathurin, Jon-Russ Jaggesar, KrishmarSantokie, Jonathan Foo, Kennar Lewis, Andre McCarthy, Odean Smith, O’Shane Thomas (Young W.I.), Timroy Allen (ICC Americas)

  1. KITTS & NEVIS PATRIOTS: Chris Gayle, Chris Morris*, Ben Cutting, Mohammad Nabi, Evin Lewis, Samuel Badree, Jonathan Carter, TabraizShamsi, Brandon King, Devon Thomas, Sheldon Cotterell, Kieran Powell, Fabian Allen, Shamarh Brooks, Jeremiah Louis, Alzarri Joseph (Young W.I.), Nikhil Dutta (ICC Americas), Carlos Brathwaite (WICB ‘Free’)

  2. LUCIA STARS: David Miller, LasithMalinga*, Shane Watson, Daren Sammy, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Jerome Taylor, Marlon Samuels, Kamran Akmal, Rakheem Cornwall, Kyle Mayers, Shane Shillingford, Eddie Leie, KeddyLesporis, Sunil Ambris, Obed McCoy (Young W.I.), Timal Patel (ICC Americas)

TRINBAGO KNIGHT RIDERS: Dwayne Bravo, Brendon McCullum*, Sunil Narine, HashimAmla, Darren Bravo, DeneshRamdin, Colin Munro, Shadab Khan, Khary Pierre, Ronsford Beaton, JavonSearles, Nikita Miller, William Perkins, Kevon Cooper, Brad Hogg, Anderson Phillip (Young W.I.), Hamza Tariq (ICC Americas)

*Denotes ‘marquee’ player (CPL)


Guyana Amazon Warriors team 2017


CONCACAF boss optimistic about infrastructural development in Guyana

By Akeem Greene

The members of the head table at the press conference at the Guyana Pegasus on Tuesday. From left; President of Aruba Football Federation Richard Dijkhoff, Guyana Football Federation PresidentWayne Forde, CONCACAF President Victor Montagiani, St Marteen Football Federation President Fabrice Baly and Member Associations and Legal Affairs of CONCACAF Director Marco Leal

The members of the head table at the press conference at the Guyana Pegasus on Tuesday. From left; President of Aruba Football Federation Richard Dijkhoff, Guyana Football Federation PresidentWayne Forde, CONCACAF President Victor Montagiani, St Marteen Football Federation President Fabrice Baly and Member Associations and Legal Affairs of CONCACAF Director Marco Leal

It has just been nine-months in office for Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani and on his first visit to Guyana on Tuesday expressed optimism about the future of football in the South American nation.

Montagliani’s viewpoint stems from the fact that the government through the National Sports Commission (NSC) has expressed a willingness to support the game especially in helping to develop facilities.

“One of the biggest issues in CONCACAF is that you have struggle with facilities and those are challenges that cannot be fixed overnight but I was pleased to see a government really supporting our sport in looking at ways to help,” the Canadian stated while speaking at press conference at the Guyana Pegasus.

He added, “With that kind of support tackling the issues of facilities will be good since at the end of the day no one entity can do it on its own; I’m very optimistic that those infrastructural challenges can be tackled.”  However, though the support is welcomed by Montagliani, he felt that it must not be short-term since “it has to be tackled in the right way and has to be a long term plan over the next 10 to 20 years.”

In the interim, the development of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Academy Training Centers (ATC) should remain a focus since in the President’s mind, this will be the precursor for more to be accomplished.

Montagliani contended that the relations being built is due to the body being more inclusive to territories and it will only auger well for countries like Guyana.


Guyana’s MMA fighter creates history

Shenese Bobb (left) and Sensei Troy Bobb

Shenese Bobb (left) and Sensei Troy Bobb

In less than two months in an unfamiliar territory, Shenese Bobb became a champion in a sport that is not popular locally. Due to her achievement every Guyanese should be proud and her name should become a household one, especially if she wins her rematch later this month.

On January 10 2017, Bobb enrolled in the Guyana Police Force to train, by March 4 Bobb defeated her Trinidadian rival in the Ruff and Tuff battle in Trinidad to win her first competitive bout in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

In doing so she became the first Guyanese to win a title in this brutal combat sport. The lofty 20 year old Berbician, who fought in the 132 lbs weight category is very gentle in person but fierce in the octagon.

Bobb, who hails from Rosignol West Coast Berbice, won her debut fight in less than three minutes of the first round and is expected to have a rematch with her opponent on March 25 in Guyana.

Her technique is not the best you will see because she is still at the developmental stage but her reach and counterattack is vicious and very effective.

However, this is not an issue for her trainer Sensei Troy Bobb because he understands that she is still fresh in the sport but her strides have been rapid.

Sensei Bobb was not in Trinidad to witness her success in the amateur bout and though neither of the Bobbs knew anything about the Trinidadian competitor, the Sensei was optimistic of a positive result due to his student’s potential.

According to the trainee police, she was watchful as she entered the octagon but when she analyzed her opponent she was confident of a victory and it took her a very short time to achieve success.

MMA 10-bout card is tipped to take place at the Ramada Princess Hotel in Guyana on March 25 and Bobb is expected to feature on the historic night.

Meanwhile, Bobb has begun preparation for fight night under the guidance of Sensei Bobb at the Guyana Police Force Gym with special emphasis on kicks and punches.


Sammy wants to play in upcoming series

Darren Sammy (Photo: CMC)

Darren Sammy (Photo: CMC)

Daren Sammy is leaving the decision about whether he plays again for West Indies up to the selection panel.

The former West Indies captain said he is available for selection for the West Indies team in the limited-overs formats for the upcoming series against Pakistan, which features four Twenty20 and three One-day Internationals – in addition to three Tests.

Sammy has not played for West Indies since their stunning victory over England in the final of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup last April, but has indicated he would relish the opportunity to put on the burgundy strip once again.

“I’m only retired from Test cricket,” he said. “I’m not retired from limited-overs cricket…I’m available for selection. The selectors have a job to select the team. We have a series coming up against Pakistan, (I’m) available for that and wherever my services are needed.”

At the same time, Sammy hoped the recent appointments of new chief executive officer Johnny Grave, new director of cricket Jimmy Adams and new head coach Stuart Law would cool the strained relations between the West Indies Cricket Board and several senior players over a controversial selection policy, as well as terms and conditions of engagement.

“I had some conversations with Jimmy,” Sammy said. “He has some good ideas for cricket. It’s all about everyone heading in the right direction because if Jimmy and Stuart don’t have the support to implement these ideas then it will still be a back and forth.

“Everyone has to buy in and West Indies cricket has to be the No 1 priority, not any personal agendas…I want what’s best for West Indies cricket.” (CMC)


Crawford relishing in recent success

By Romario Samaroo

Romello Crawford

Romello Crawford

Winning the second race of his senior career, PSL rider, Romello Crawford is relishing in the success of his recent wins, notably in both forms of cycling.

On Monday, Crawford rode off with the title in the 4th annual Benjamin Sports Store cycling road race in a time of one hour 54 minutes and 29 seconds with the race being hosted in his hometown of Berbice. The 50-mile event pedaled off from in front of the Benjamin Sports Store at Fyrish Corentyne and proceeded to the No. 51 Police station before returning to its place of origin for the finish.

Crawford was followed by Paul Denobrega (Team Evolution) in second, Hamzah Eastman (Team Cocos) in third, Geron Williams (Continental CC) in fourth, Shaquel Agard (Linden Bauxite Flyers) in 5th, Andrew Hicks (WS United) in 6th, Jamual John (Team Cocos) in 7th, Slivio Inniss (Linden Bauxite Flyers) in 8th, Stephano ‘Sunny’ Husbands (Team Cocos) in 9th and Mark Harris (Team Cocos) in 10th.

Also, Saturday saw Crawford outsprinting Williams in the 12th Demerara Distillers Limited 35-lap featured race in the National Park to complete the feat in a time of one hour 16 minutes and 24 seconds. After these achievements, Crawford acknowledged that it was a good feeling to beat some of the seasoned riders especially in the presence of his home crowd while crediting his stringent training and familiarity to the conditions for the win.

The 18 year old who only came over to the senior class this year has immediately caught the eyes of the other riders and is now considered one of the better riders with a bright future. This is particularly interesting since the former Corentyne Comprehensive High School student only started riding competitively just under four years since he was one of the best jumpers in the ancient county, having made the inter district National Championship team in 2014 and would have made it again last year had he been available.

Crawford has also made tremendous strides on the regional scene, having been included in a team to the United Cycling International (UCI) tour of Tobago in 2015 where he was successful.

The Number One village native, like the long list of family members fell in love with cycling after following in the footsteps of his cousins but intends to surpass all of their efforts by being the number one ranked cyclist at the end of the year as well as his personal goal of making the National team.

Crawford would now be tested in unfamiliar conditions when he heads over for the final leg of the 20th Cheddi B. Jagan Memorial Cycling road race in Essequibo this Sunday.


Former Indian, SL, WI first-class players in USA selection camp

The USA team that won the Division Four title in November (Photo: Peter Della Penna)

The USA team that won the Division Four title in November (Photo: Peter Della Penna)

Former Hyderabad wicketkeeper Ibrahim Khaleel is one of three former first-class players to be invited to a USA selection camp from March 16 to 19 in Houston, Texas. The purpose of the camp is to pick a 14-man squad to tour Uganda in May for WCL Division Three matches.

Khaleel, 34, last represented Hyderabad in January 2015, having played 57 first-class matches in the Ranji Trophy since his debut in 2002. He has been playing league cricket in Chicago for the past several summers and was identified by selectors at an ICC Regional Combine held in Chicago last May.

It was understood that Khaleel has not yet met the eligibility threshold – a non-citizen can represent his resident country provided he has spent a minimum of 183 days per year over four consecutive years prior to a tournament – but would be immediately eligible if he were to secure a US passport. According to a source, Khaleel currently has US permanent residency status and was in the latter stages of obtaining US citizenship.

Roy Silva, the Sri Lankan batsman who played 87 first-class matches, and Camilus Alexander, the former Windward Islands legspinner, were also called up to the selection camp.

Silva, 36, played his last first-class match for Colombo CC in March 2013 and has been a heavy scorer in the Georgia and Florida leagues since moving to the USA. Alexander, 35, was the leading wicket-taker at the USACA T20 National Championship in 2014 while playing for the South East Region. Both would be eligible to play for USA under the ICC’s four-year deemed national rule.

The 19 players from the camp are expected to link up with a training squad of 31, which had been assembled prior to USA’s title-winning run at WCL Division Four.

The other talking point was the potential returns of off spinner Abhimanyu Rajp, batsman Charan Singh and left-arm spinning allrounder Mrunal Patel. Rajp and Charan last played for USA during the Auty Cup tours to Canada in 2013 and 2011 respectively while Mrunal had been part of the team that went to Ireland in 2015 for the World T20 qualifier.

Four recent USA Under-19 representatives will be part of the camp as well. New York batsman Randall Wilson is a strong contender for a batting spot after solid performances at the ICC’s Regional Combine in New York last June and a half-century against a touring MCC side in September. Batsmen Gauranshu Sharma, Sagar Patel and Tohidul Islam were the other former U-19 players up for selection.

“When considering players to add to the trial, the [selection] panel wanted to predominantly focus on youth players, young guys who stood out at Combines last year or in previous USA U-19 teams,” selection chairman Ricardo Powell said in a press release. “It will be good to give them some additional exposure in this environment. Those young players are accompanied by a couple more experienced players who have been consistent performers in the US and abroad.”

The large number of invitees was partly because seven of the most recent USA squad members were unavailable, including four who were a part of either the Division Four squad or the one for their previous assignment, the Auty Cup. Fast bowlers Hammad Shahid and David Pieters, and allrounder Srini Santhanam have been ruled out due to injury while seamer Aman Lobana and left-arm spinner Danial Ahmed were unavailable.

Shahid’s absence was the biggest blow. He had taken three wickets in two matches, with an exemplary economy rate of 3.55 in the Auty Cup last October. He had a strong chance of being among the final 14 to play in Uganda but sustained a torn posterior cruciate knee ligament (PCL) during a recent training session and was expected to be out for up to three months.

Santhanam had surgery on his right shoulder in December and cannot play cricket at least until the second half of 2017. Pieters, who has yet to debut for USA, tore a meniscus at a trial match in Florida last August ahead of Division Four. Subsequent tests revealed cartilage damage in his right knee. After going under the knife for a second time last week, he has been ruled out of action indefinitely.

There were doubts over batsman Alex Amsterdam and allrounder Timroy Allen attending the camp as well. Both spent a month in Barbados with the ICC Americas squad at the WICB Regional Super50 in January and February, making it difficult for them to take more time off work again, especially considering the team would be away from home for up to three weeks for the Division Three tour. Allen, one of USA’s most valuable assets, was recently retained by Jamaica Tallawahs in the CPL draft.

A six-day pre-tour to South Africa has been organised for USA before they land in Uganda for the start of the matches on May 23. In addition to the hosts, USA will be competing against Canada, Malaysia, Oman and Singapore in the next phase of the qualification process for the 2019 World Cup. The top two finishers at Division Three advance to Division Two, expected to be held in late 2017 or early 2018. It is the last step prior to the 2018 World Cup Qualifier, currently slated for Bangladesh in April 2018. (ESPNCricinfo)

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo’s USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna


What Gayle tells us

T20 batting will move on from him, but for now, as he stands on the verge of yet another monolithic landmark, he is a reminder of what is possible in the game

Centuries were once rare currency. In WG Grace’s first transcendent season, the summer of 1871, when he turned 23 years old, 17 first-class hundreds were scored. The champion accounted for ten of them. By the time Grace made 104 for Gloucester against Sussex at Hove in 1876, to become the first man to compile 50 first-class hundreds, he had more centuries than the next 13 men on the list combined. He got to 100 hundreds in 1895 and the game waited another 18 years for someone else, Surrey’s Tom Hayward, to reach the same mark.

Royal Challengers Bangalore player Chris Gayle comes out of the pavilion for the 1st innings of the match 30 of the Vivo IPL ( Indian Premier League ) 2016 between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Kolkata Knight Riders held at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, India, on the 2nd May 2016 Photo by Vipin Pawar / IPL/ SPORTZPICS

Royal Challengers Bangalore player Chris Gayle comes out of the pavilion for the 1st innings of the match 30 of the Vivo IPL ( Indian Premier League ) 2016 between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Kolkata Knight Riders held at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, India, on the 2nd May 2016
Photo by Vipin Pawar / IPL/ SPORTZPICS

In 2003, albeit accidentally, cricket reset itself. Batting changed because T20 cricket and the money it generated made it change – and in turn, symbiotically, the shock and awe generated by the new batting generated more money.
In T20 cricket, like cricket in the Victorian age, centuries are rare currency, and like Grace, one man stands apart. Chris Gayle has scored 18 T20 hundreds. The next best is seven, by Brendon McCullum. Only two men, Luke Wright and Michael Klinger, have six, David Warner is next with five. ViratKohli and AB de Villiers have four and three respectively. It’s perfectly possible, perhaps even likely, that Kohli will never get to 18, despite his mastery and his comparative youth.
It’s not just the centuries. Soon, perhaps during his PSL matches, Gayle will score the 223 runs he needs to become the first man to 10,000 runs in T20 cricket. The next closest, Brad Hodge and McCullum, are almost 2500 runs – or 25% – behind him. He has the format’s highest individual score, 175 not out, and the joint fastest fifty, in 12 deliveries. He has hit the most sixes, 717, and most fours, 749, of any player (Kieron Pollard and Hodge are next with 437 and 707 respectively). His innings of 175 contained 154 runs in boundaries, which is more than any other ever played. His 78 half-centuries are also a record (Warner is next, with 59).
The only major batting mark he does not hold is of career average, where his 41.60 is fifth on the list. However, none of the four men above him – New Zealand’s Chris Harris (70.66), South African Pieter Malan (44.08), Pakistan’s Babar Azam (43.68) and the late Phil Hughes (42.69) – have played more than 34 innings for their figures. Gayle has batted 272 times for his.
Perhaps most telling of all, Gayle, statistically, has hit every ninth delivery he has faced in T20 cricket for six (actually just under – his ratio is one per every 8.68 deliveries), a number that has remained broadly steady across his career. Just as Grace made the hundred a new currency of batsmanship, so Gayle has employed the six in the same way. It’s the emblematic moment of T20 cricket, the maximum outcome from any single delivery, and Gayle has employed it the most, and the most frequently. He has reframed it, and he has constructed his image around it, the gym-honed torso rippling under the multi-coloured muscle shirt, the giant bat, sometimes gold, in his paw, legs splayed to anchor this superstructure like with a golfer, providing the resistance against which he swings.
There’s no stat that measures how far each Gayle six goes, but he has seized on the demoralising effect of being able to clear not just boundaries but fences and stadiums. It’s easy to see this as a bullying demonstration of force, yet for all his failings off the field, Gayle has a sharp cricketing intelligence. He has Test match triple-centuries and an ODI double, and you don’t get those by muscling sixes when the fields are restricted. It was Gayle who conceptualised this new way of batting, and worked out a way to execute it. To do so, you first have to imagine what’s possible.
Gayle’s flashy Instagram life has militated against him being taken seriously as any kind of thinker. And for all that he guarantees bums on seats and increased viewing figures, along with the pyrotechnic hitting, the Big Bash knew that its image was more important that any one player, however great, however wanted. It did not miss him this year; respect is worth more.
It took time for Grace’s numbers to be superseded, yet batting moved on, as it must. Fry, Ranji, Trumper, Hobbs and then Bradman and others were playing a noticeably different game, in new styles and with new techniques. They stood on Grace’s shoulders, though, and his philosophy that batting was about attacking the bowler remained his lasting legacy.
Batting will move on from Gayle too. Kohli, who may soon be the pre-eminent batsman of the age, and who has wiped one of Gayle’s significant records from the books with his 973 runs in the last IPL, has a deeper dimension to his batting, and a style that feels more universal and repeatable.
Just as Grace was more physically imposing than most of his opponents, so has Gayle been. Not all of his legacy will be savoury, but in an alt-fact, fake-news world, there is a truth in the idea that he has, like the good doctor, shown us what was possible.(ESPNCricinfo)

Floodlights Masters vow championship repeat at Florida Cup

Captain of the Guyana Floodlights Softball Cricket Association (GFSCA) masters team, Ricky Deonarain is highly optimistic his team can retain the Masters championship in this year’s Florida Cup annual tournament slated to be played from February 24-26.

floodlightsAccording to the veteran right-handed Deonarain, the side is loaded with a plethora of experienced campaigners and feels everyone can give a good account of themselves. He also stated that they are buoyant and ready to remain on the podium.
Reflecting on what had transpired last year, Deonarain mentioned that the success was purely on total team cohesion and no doubt they will apply similar efforts later this month at the picturesque Brian Picollo Park in Cooper City.
“We [are] definitely confident of winning the Masters category again; we played committed and hard cricket in 2016 and my players are ready to go again,” Deonarain commented.
Quizzed on the composition of the lineup, Deonarain immediately acknowledged that the setup has a great deal of all-rounders while the specialist batsmen and bowlers should be able to create an impression too.
“We have got some seasoned players; very experienced and are capable of doing well; our preparations also demonstrated that we are equipped to be a triumphant unit in 2017 at this big tournament,” the 52-year-old Deonarain related to Guyana Times International Sport.
In the final last year, GFSCA team trounced South Florida Softball Cricket League by a handsome eight-wicket margin at the Central Broward Stadium in Fort Lauderdale and that gives Deonarain the confidence they can return to Guyana with the winning trophy for the second year in succession.
“I am very much confident of lifting the trophy for the second time; last year was very successful with all our matches unbeaten and that showed that we were well-prepared and now ready to defend the championship,” Deonarain explained.
Having emerged victorious at their own tournament, the Guyana Cup 6 last year, Deonarain revealed that would have also inspired them immensely to keep the winning momentum progressing. He attributed that success also to hard work and diligent cricket.
He will be banking heavily on some of the reputable players to cash in on the overseas trip. Players like himself, Wayne Jones, Gordial Mattai, John Sumair, Kash and Ravi Lutchman (brothers), Ramo Malone, Anil Beharry, Uniss Yusuf, Jagdish Persaud among others to come to the fore.
Apart from the GFSCA Masters, the GFSCA Legends will also be participating for the ninth consecutive years among other Guyanese teams for both the Masters and Open categories. Teams are expected from New York, the hosts city and Canada to be part of the action as well.(Contribution made by Ravi Madholall)

Ming elated over blazing start to 2017 season

Guyanese race car sensation Calvin Ming has continued to swift ascendency into the history books with a stupendous start to his 2017 season. Two weekends on the track thus far and the son of veteran Guyanese racer and businessman Stanley Ming, has already secured two podium finishes.

Racing in Mexico in the FIA NACAM F4 Championships, the young speedster secured his third podium place in two weeks despite serious car troubles.
In an interview with Guyana Times International Sport Ming in speaking of his performances explained that “My performance in Mexico was pretty good, it was a lot of hard racing, in the first race I had a little bit of problems, my teammate got in front of me and was pulling away slowly, but I managed to pull him back.”
He added, “Everyone was telling me I was on fire since I was really fast and it was a track that you had to take risks to be fast.”
The Ram Racing driver was hard at work over the season break as other than winning the championship title, he is eager to undergo testing of a USF 2000 which is the equivalent to F3 car in Europe.
“I have been training for the last two months since I wanted to see what results I can get in preparation for USF 2000 later this year; my plans for the new year is to bring home some championships, and make it all the way to the top,” the driver revealed.
Though, making it all the way to the top is certainly an illustrious goal for Ming, his love for the sport is what constantly motivates him to do well.
“My ultimate goal is not necessarily to be an F1 driver, it is just to be a professional driver and make this sport my career, I just love to race, it is very competitive and it gives an adrenaline rush; it is really hard to say how far you are from achieving it, you just have to focus on the races you have now and try to be the best “the former Go-kart champion disclosed.
The future engineer is adamant that if corporate support comes his way they will only benefit as he continues to represent Guyana proudly.
“When we get sponsorship, I will be able to compete and move into higher categories internationally, Guyana and the sponsors will be able to get allot of recognition on the world stage,” the Florida International University student explained.
The talented Ming should be back on the track this weekend again as his busy season has begun.