January 23, 2018

Archives for November 3, 2017

Jaguars focused on developing future stars for the West Indies

Since the commencement of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Professional Cricket League (PCL) for the 2014/2015 Regional 4-Day season, Guyana Jaguars have been ‘team consistent, winning three successive titles.

File photo of Leon Johnson. (Image courtesy: WICB/Randy Brooks)

However, in that period, they have only successfully seen the elevation of Rajendra Chandrika, Vishaul Singh and Shimron Hetmyer to the senior West Indies Test team. Barbadian-born Raymon Reifer is currently part of the Test squad while Keon Joseph has become a consistent face in the West Indies ‘A’ teams. Ronsford Beaton who was part of the “A” team has been included in the Windies T20 squad recently but is yet to wear an international cap.
Guyana have not only won titles but they have dominated oppositions both at home and away. Despite this encouraging fact, captain Leon Johnson revealed that they are more focused on developing future stars for the West Indies.
“Our assistant coach, always stresses to the players that he doesn’t want to see them just play for Guyana their goal must only be performing for Guyana and then playing for West indies and also doing well for West Indies,” Johnson said.
The first season of the PCL Regional 4-Days began in November 2014 just two months after Johnson made his Test debut against Bangladesh. The stylish left-handed batsman has since played eight additional matches, a disappointing stat for a batsman with enormous potential.
“The focus is not always on winning a championship, we don’t set out at the start of a season to win a championship, that more comes down to the end of the season when we realise we have done well and is to push for the title.”
He added, “We always encourage each other to do well go on to play for the West Indies.”

CAC team confident ahead of Qualifiers in Jamaica

A mere two weeks after taking part in the International Pan American Championships on home soil, the Guyana Men and Women’s hockey teams will be jetting off to Jamaica to compete in the qualifiers for the Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) being hosted in Kingston.

Robert France will captain the Men’s National Team in Jamaica

Speaking to Guyana Times International Sport exclusively, Guyana Hockey Board (GHB) boss and Women’s coach, Philip Fernandes revealed that due to commitments and in some cases retirement of senior ladies the women’s squad is a mixture of new faces and experience.
Fernandes explained; “we have lost some of our senior ladies to retirement or unavailability due to work commitments and so we have several new faces who will be making their international debut this tour.”
However, the GHB head expressed; “I am confident that the experience of our remaining senior ladies will be able to anchor the newcomers and work cohesively to produce good results.”
While only the top two finishers will qualify for the CAC Games in Colombia in 2018, Fernandes believes “Guyana is favoured to take one of those spots but will face strong challenges from hosts Jamaica and Puerto Rico who also have a lot of experience at this level. While the tournament comes at a difficult time for our teams as we were committed to indoor training for the past several months, we hope that at least the core of the team will be fit and ready for this competition.”
With players such as Minsodia Culpepper and Nicole Eastman making their debut at the recently concluded Pan American Championships, Fernandes pointed out that the experience would have been good for them.
Eighteen-year-old Tamala Glenn and 19-year-old Bushani Kaladeen will be the debutants on the upcoming tour; the debutants will be exposed to a high quality of competition and conditions. This Fernandes reasoned would be an advantage to Guyana if they succeed at the CAC Qualifiers to book a spot in Colombia, 2018.
“If Guyana is successful in qualifying for the CAC Games, the exposure of these young players will be valuable going into that tournament as it means they would be more familiar with the conditions and expectations of athletes at the International level.” Prodigy Aliyah Gordon has recovered from her injury that was sustained during the Pan Am Championship and is included in the Guyanese squad.
Meanwhile, the Men’s side has retained almost the entire squad that finished fourth at the Pan Am Championships two weeks ago.
Prolific striker Robert France will once again captain the side; included in the team is veteran defender/midfielder Dwayne Scott. The Branford brothers, Aroydy and Rayon will also be vital players for the Guyanese.
Both the men and women’s teams will be in action on Sunday (November 5). The men take on Puerto Rico while the women face Panama.
Only the top two finishers in both competitions will qualify for the CAC Games in Colombia, 2018.
The female squad reads: Briawna Gordon (Goalkeeper), Gabriella Xavier, Latacia Chung, Minsodia Culpepper, Marzana Fiedtkou, Kerensa Fernandes, Trisha Woodroffe (Captain), Marisha Fernandes, Maria Atkinson Monroe, Nicole Eastman, Bushani Kaladeen, Shebiki Baptiste, Aliyah Gordon, Ulrica Sutherland, Tamala Glenn, Ashley DeGroot.
The male squad: Melroy Scotland (GK), David Williams (GK), Hilton Chester, Kareem McKenzie, Marvin Dannett, Rayon Branford, Aroydy Branford, Dwayne Scott, Andrew Stewart, Jamarj Assanah, Jason De Santos, Randy Hope, Orlando Semple, Robert France (Captain), Mark Sargeant, Jael Gaskin, Meshach Sargeant, Steven Xavier.
Coaches: Men’s Coach Robert Fernandes, Women’s Coach Philip Fernandes

Beaton to play One-Dayers against Sri Lanka “A”

Guyanese speedster Ronsford Beaton has been included in a Windies “A” 13-member squad announced by the Selection Panel of Cricket West Indies for the three One-day matches against Sri Lanka “A”, starting this week.
Beaton is among four players that did not play in the preceding 3-match “Test” series which Sri Lanka “A” won 2-1. The others are: Windward Islands Volcanoes all-rounder Kyle Mayers, along with the Jamaica Scorpions pair of Andre McCarthy and Odean Smith, a member of the West Indies Under-19 side that won the ICC Youth World Cup last year in Bangladesh.

Ronsford Beaton

Commenting on the squad, Chairman of the CWI Selection Panel, Courtney Browne said: “The squad builds on our last President’s XI squad which played against England earlier this year with Jahmar Hamilton retained as captain.
“Players coming into the square are those to replace the players that have moved up to the senior team or those that are not available at this time.”
He added: “Our ‘A’ Team programme is a stepping stone to our senior team and the panels want to encourage players to focus on consistent performances.
“With a full year of One-day International matches coming up next year, including the ICC World Cup qualifiers next March in Zimbabwe, this is another opportunity, along with the Regional Super50 Cup next January, for players to present themselves for any places available in the senior team.”
Windies “A” squad reads; Jahmar Hamilton (Captain), Sunil Ambris, Ronsford Beaton, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Rahkeem Cornwall, Sheldon Cottrell, Montcin Hodge, Damion Jacobs, Reynard Leveridge, Kyle Mayers, Andre McCarthy and Odean Smith.
Graeme West is the Head Coach while the rest of the Team Management Unit is also unchanged. They are Graeme West (Head Coach), Dwain Gill (Team Operations Manager), Corey Collymore (Assistant Coach), Khevyn Williams (Physiotherapist), Zephrynus Nicholas (Fitness Coordinator) and Dinesh Mahabir (Video Data Analyst).

Consistent Singh delighted with batting performance

Elegant right-handed opening batsman Avinash Singh expressed delight with his top-batting performance after the completion of the 2017 Ontario Softball Cricket League (OSCL) tournament. Singh, who hails from Cornelia Ida, West Coast Demerara, demonstrated his consistency with an aggregate of 270 runs from 14 matches representing Better Hope Sports Club in the A Division.

Avinash Singh with his top-batsman trophy at OSCL presentation and award ceremony recently in Toronto

“I [am] extremely happy with my performance this season especially topping the batting; the hard work certainly paid off and I will remember it for a very long time,” Singh commented.
His highest score of 84 came against his former teammates and Singh mentioned that was a memorable innings but noted he was more than determined to get a three-figure mark; however, he also expressed satisfaction with his average of 33.75.
“Playing in the OSCL for the past 13 consecutive years and still able to make an impression is pleasing; I know the competition was going to be very stiff and most batsmen would have also wanted to dominate, but it was a great honour to head the list,” the 42-year-old versatile all-rounder declared.
Despite his team had to settle at the number five spot with 47 points from their allotted 14 matches, Singh felt they played excellent cricket from the commencement of the tournament. Dant emerged as the champions with 67 points from the same number of games.
“We played as a team throughout the tournament but as I said there was always stiff competition but the guys showed great enthusiasm and no doubt we can be the victorious side in 2018,” Singh related. In addition to the 20-over category, Singh made an impact too in the 10-over version where he was named MVP in the Consultation final.
He also reflected on his previous outstanding performances during his softball cricketing career featuring for various clubs in the OSCL competitions.
In 2006, Singh was the top batsman with 457 runs in the B Division while he came in third with 276 runs at the A Division in 2010. The following year, Singh was again prolific chalking up 573 runs back at the B Division.
Meanwhile, since the formation of the OSCL in 1996, a large number of Guyanese cricketers have been representing different teams and showcasing their talents with also resounding performances.

Regal Masters whip NY Hustlers

…Speedboat power away from Regal All-Stars

The curtains came down on the inaugural Prime Minister’s T20 Softball Cup with two exciting and highly competitive finals at the Everest Cricket Club ground on Sunday.
A colourful crowd, including Honourable Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and his wife Sita Nagamootoo, Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan and Minister of Social Cohesion with responsibility for Sport Dr. George Norton, witnessed the thrilling encounters that saw Regal Masters and Speedboat All-Stars winning their respective championships. In the first final of the day, Regal Masters defeated New York Hustlers by 24 runs in the Masters category.

Regal Masters played masterfully well to lift the first-ever Prime Minister’s T20 Softball Cup

A match-winning 68 from opener Mahase Chunilall and a fluent half century from Eric Thomas allowed Regal Masters to post a challenging 199-4, batting first. The in-form Chunilall and Mahendra Hardyal put Regal Masters on course with an opening stand of 96 before Hardyal who hit one four and a six was removed by E. Dodson for 28. Chunilall and Thomas continued to frustrate their overseas opponents as they took the score to 172 with level-headed batting. Chunilall struck one four and four maximums before he was caught off former Guyana U19 player Troy Gobin. The left-handed Thomas continued to attack and clobbered one four and six sixes in scoring 53. Dodson claimed 2-56 for NY Hustlers who made a valiant effort to push for victory. D. Chumney and former Everest and Guyana First Class player Shameer Sadloo added 32 for the opening strand before Chumney was taken of Parsram Persaud for 19. Sadloo and Gobin, two of NY Hustlers most dangerous batsmen, steadied the chase fairly before Sadloo was removed by Thomas for 36 (3×6).
Gobin was then bowled by Laurie Singh for 23 (3×4,1×6) leaving the score at 88-3. Regal Masters then picked up a few quick wickets to restrict the scoring, but Chob Richmond and Roy Matura kept their team in the hunt with a seven-wicket stand of 49 before Matura was bowled by Hardyal for 24 after hitting three sixes. Richmond remained unbeaten on 44 with two fours and three sixes as NY Hustlers finished on 175-8. Thomas was the pick of the bowlers with 3-23. NY Hustlers collected G$100,000, medals and a trophy for their efforts while the champions pocketed G$500,000 along with a trophy and medals.
In the All-Star grand finale, Speedboat registered a 55-run win over Regal All-Stars in a gripping encounter. Speedboat rattled up 182-9 after they were inserted. Anand Bharat and Lennox Marks put on 24 for the opening stand before Marks was bowled by Amir Nizamudin for 15; Fazal Rafiek uprooted the stumps of Vikash Dhaniram (09) while Nizamudin bowled Greg Singh (15) before Esau accounted for Bharat for 24 leaving the score at 98-4. Speedboat then lost captain Wazir Hussain (02) who was bowled by his brother-in-law Safraz Esau, but Ricky Sargeant and Shazim Hussain propped up the total before Hussain was run out for 27 (1×4,3×6). Sargent made 21 as Esau claimed 3-38, Rafiek 2-40 and Nizamudin 2-42.
Regal Allstars were off to a terrible start when the in-form Sachin Singh (01) was bowled by Greg Singh, Richard Latif (04) was removed by Kishore Smith, Rafiek (04) had his stumps disturbed by Singh, Esau (06) was bowled by Mark Harold while Patrick Rooplall was dismissed without scoring leaving the score on 39-5. However, Navin Singh and Sewchand Budhu attempted to keep their team in the hunt with a stand of 33, but the run out of Singh for 15 and the dismissal of Budhu for 25 cemented Speedboat hold on the game; no other batsman managed double figures as Regal All-Stars were bowled out for 127 in 17.4 overs. Smith had 3-20 and Singh 2-26.
The pumped up winners won G$600,000, a trophy and medals while Regal All-Stars settled for G$100,000 and similar silverware.
Also in the presentation ceremony, Chunilall who was named Most Valuable player of the Masters Tournament received a 55-inch television set while Safraz Esau won the prize in the All-Star category and rode away with a Hero Motorcycle.
The tournament which was organized by the Georgetown Softball Cricket League Inc and ran under the patronage of Prime Minister Moses Nagamottoo started on Friday last with a total of 18 teams across the two categories.

Guyanese designer launches “My heart beats in Africa”

Models hit the runway in over 130 exotic pieces from the “Shape” 2018 collection, bringing to life the creative vision of local fashion designer Donna Ramsammy James as she again stole the limelight in Guyana’s local fashion industry.
The 20th annual staging of “My heart beats in Africa”-themed fashion show, which exhibited both male and female attire incorporating the softness of Asia, the depth of Africa and the colour of the Caribbean, was inspired by James’s recent visit to Nairobi in Kenya, East Africa.
Guests attired in glamorous African-themed outfits gathered on the lawns of Herdmanston House in the cool atmosphere of Sunday evening in obvious anticipation of the much-talked-about event.
The two-hour-long mesmerizing fashion show saw several sequences featuring the diverse fashion trends of various African tribes, every design exquisite and unique.
Following the glamourous presentations, the genius behind it all, James, took to the catwalk to express her undying appreciation to supporters. She disclosed that the proceeds of the show go to the Guyana Relief Council (GRC), and she called upon Chairperson of the organisation, Mrs. Yvonne Hinds, to graciously accept the cheque.
Designs were available for purchase.

Rockstone Fish Festival 2017: Lindener walks away with top prizes

By Bhisham Mohamed

Ravin Persaud of Amelia’s Ward, Linden was adjudged the winner of the 12th Annual Rockstone Fish Catching Competition, held last Sunday.
Accompanied by two relatives, he and his boat captain, Ryan, ventured out into the Essequibo River at about 5:00hrs on Sunday in their bid to cop the prize for the largest catch.

Ravin Persaud and his team upon winning the top prizes

It definitely paid off, and he was awarded the cash prizes for the biggest catch of the day — also the biggest catfish caught — weighing approximately 65 pounds and measuring approximately four feet in length.
Upon being awarded the prizes, Persaud thanked his team for the efforts they had put into the trip, and praised the boat captain who had taken them around to fish.
Described as a fanatic for fishing, Persaud has been participating in this competition for years, and would previously have won similar prizes.
Fishing, he noted, had become part of his life from an early age. Now that the 2017 festival is over, he will commence preparing for the 2018 event.
However, another competitor, “Fish Brow,” received prizes for the biggest lukanani caught, and also for the second largest catch. Speaking with Guyana Times International, an elated “Fish Brow” disclosed that he has participated in the event every year.
He feels more persons should participate in this fish-catching competition, as this would make the event more competitive.
Several ancillary events were held during the course of the day. The water melon-eating competition, for instance, drew a large crowd of spectators, each cheering on his/her favourite contestant. One Mario won that contest, for which there was a cash prize and a trophy.
Apart from the various competitions, the ‘deejay’ did an excellent job in mixing the tracks, causing everyone to gyrate to good music. Games for the kids were a challenge, since there was only the trampoline. Some expressed the view that since the event is family-oriented, more activities should have been planned for all ages.
Whilst some were busy catching fish, some were having a ball in the sun and heat. President of the Rockstone Tourism Association, Ms Lynette Benn, told this newspaper that a lot of work had been invested in the success of the event. She said that at one point the committee had reportedly even considered cancelling the event because of the deplorable state of the road.
She also noted that with direction from the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), the association was able to regroup and continue planning for the event. She explained that the heavy downpour on Saturday caused a number of planned activities to have been cancelled.
Ms Benn was, however, happy with the turnout, and promised to work harder for greater success of the festival next year. Those who stayed at the event until the sun set were treated to live stage performances.
The 2018 Annual Rockstone Fish Festival is billed for October 27 and 28.

2000 set to graduate from University of Guyana in Nov

By Ashraf Dabie

Some 2000 students are expected to graduate from the University of Guyana during the 51st Convocation at the Turkeyen Campus, which is slated for Saturday, November 11.
The UG graduation this year will see a number of developments, including for the first time in the history of the university, graduands emanating from certificate, diploma and degree programmes being awarded at two separate ceremonies.

Flashback: A scene from a previous UG graduation

This is as the graduation ceremony for students attached to the Faculties of Agriculture and Forestry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Technology, will be held at the National Cultural Centre on the said date, while for those from the Faculties of Education and Humanities, Health Sciences, and Social Sciences, the ceremony is set for the Turkeyen Campus, also on November 11.
Booked to deliver the feature address at the first ceremony is Dr Dhanpaul Narine, who is a distinguished educator and journalist based in New York while Ambassador Rudolph Michael Ten-Pow, who studied Modern Languages, will give the keynote address at the ceremony set for the Turkeyen campus.
In commenting on this significant change, Vice Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith relayed that, “Our graduating classes have grown tremendously over the years, and having one ceremony has meant having extremely long ceremonies, with some graduates and guests leaving before the ceremonies conclude.”
Griffith, who lobbied for the enhancement, further noted, “Creating two ceremonies allows us to maintain the tradition of having every graduand cross the stage and shake the hand of the Chancellor, and maintain the solemnity of the occasion, while reducing the length of the ceremony.”
Additionally, the Vice Chancellor pointed out that unlike previous years, all students graduating with diplomas will be adorned with academic robes, along with those graduating with Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees.
Another new feature at this year’s Convocations will be the use of ceremonial gonfalons, which are banners, often shield-shaped, that hang from crosspieces on top of poles. These banners are usually carried at the head of the Convocation procession and identify the different Faculties within the university from which students are graduating.
On this note, Professor Griffith highlighted that the “adoption of this feature, which is found at mature universities across the world, will enhance the elegance and pomp of the ceremonies”.
Ever since the University held its first graduation in 1968, the institution has become a leading provider of tertiary education in the country, producing on a yearly basis, a number of professionals equipped with the knowledge and skills ready to venture into the local, regional and global job markets.
UG graduates have gone on to assume senior positions in major Public and Private Sector agencies, both in Guyana and across the world.
Meanwhile, the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education, the extra-mural arm of the university, is scheduled to hold its graduation ceremonies for its four centres as follows: Georgetown Centre on November 25; Linden Centre on November 26; Anna Regina Centre on December 2 and the New Amsterdam Centre on December 9, 2017.

Brief history of the Lamaha Canal

“The Guyana Story” by Odeen Ishmael stated that one of the major problems that Georgetown faced was the availability of water for domestic use.

The Lamaha Canal in 1870

Ishmael reported that in 1825 one of the leading citizens, Dr Michael McTurk, proposed the construction of a canal to bring water from the Lamaha Creek, some distance south of Georgetown. The author added that the proposal won support from both the central government and the town council, and by 1829, a canal from the Camuni Creek to Georgetown was completed with the use of the labour of hundreds of slaves.

Lamaha Canal under construction circa 1800s

According to Ishmael, in the town itself smaller canals branching off from the Lamaha Canal were dug and these provided the supply of water to the residents. It was not until 1885 that the people of Georgetown began to get their water supply through pipes after mechanical pumps were purchased by the council.
“The Story of Georgetown” by James Rodway mentioned that “it appears there was already a small canal at the back of Cuming’s Lodge known as Ward’s Trench, dug by Mr. Ward of Industry to connect with No. 3 Canal; this was to be enlarged and continued to the Lamaha Creek at the expense of the estates, and a connection made for the town by a trench 12 ft wide on the level, 6 ft at the bottom, and 5 ft deep…”
Rodway went on to say that on “October 29, 1829, an Act for the better preservation of the Lamaha Fresh-Water Canal and Reservoir within the precincts of Georgetown recites that a canal and reservoir have been formed”.

British Guiana at the Paris Exhibition 1878

The Paris international exhibition of 1878, held to celebrate France’s recovery from the Franco-Prussian War, was the largest exhibition the world had yet seen, occupying 66 acres. France’s own exhibits formed half the items on display, while those of the British Empire made up another third.
The exhibition was attended by 13 million visitors from all over the world and was seen by exhibitors as an important means of attracting trade and investment, of showing off new technological or artistic achievements, of celebrating the riches of their respective cultures and of stimulating both national pride and a spirit of international co-operation.
At the time of the Paris exhibition, British Guiana’s economy was dominated by cane sugar, though some diversification was beginning to emerge, a trend that would sharpen in the 1880s, as sugar prices fell and efforts were made to exploit the mineral resources of the colony, such as bauxite.
In 1876 British Guiana exported a total of 213,951,360 pounds of sugar (as opposed to 66,667,776 pounds 25 years earlier) and the colony as a whole enjoyed a modest revenue surplus. Public expenditure on managed immigration schemes (principally indentured labour from India) was beginning to fall, but health and social welfare expenditure was on the rise.
This catalogue to British Guiana’s exhibits, while naturally devoting a large amount of space to sugar production, suggests that the colony was anxious to present itself as rich in other natural resources and full of potential for the investor.

Illustration of the magnitude of the Paris Exhibition

Exhibits included not only different types and grades of sugar and rum, but other crops, such as cassava, coffee and cocoa, around 90 different timbers and examples of Carib and Arawak craftwork, such as pottery, baskets and table mats. The introduction uses statistical data to stress the colony’s economic health and potential and takes pains to counter the prevalent perception of its climate as ‘unhealthy, and prejudicial to Europeans.’
The frontispiece shows the Kaieteur Falls, one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world. In 1870 Charles Barrington Brown, a British government surveyor, became the first European to see the Kaieteur Falls. (www.kingscollections.org)