“Give of your best” - Kumar urges Test selectee Leon Johnson

Guyana Times article.

Georgetown, Guyana - Director of Sport Neil Kumar has urged Test selectee Leon Johnson to give of his best and make the most of the opportunities afforded to him in the future.

Johnson, the 26-year-old Guyanese left-handed middle-order batsman, along with Jamaican batsman Jermaine Blackwood, have gained maiden Test call-ups for the second match against New Zealand, starting on Monday in Trinidad and Tobago.

They have replaced opener Kieran Powell and middle-order batsman Marlon Samuels, following their double failures in the opening Test at Jamaica, which the West Indies lost by 186 runs.

Speaking to this publication on Saturday, Kumar said Johnson is deserving of the recognition that has come his way.

“I want to first of all congratulate him on this milestone, I think it’s a great achievement for any cricketer to be considered good enough for Test cricket,” Kumar said.

He added, “I want to tell him ‘give of your best and make the most of the opportunities. Do Guyana proud and continue to produce the runs like you have been doing over the past two year.”

The Parliamentarian said he was not at all surprised at the call-up, since he personally would have recognised Johnson’s obvious talent during his days as a youth cricketer.

Identified as a future Test player ever since he cracked a double hundred against Barbados in 2005 in the Regional Under-19 competition, Johnson has been phenomenal with the bat over the past two seasons, scoring 1300 runs from 16 games at an average of exactly 50. Among those runs are nine half-centuries and two hundreds.

In the current series against Bangladesh A, Johnson, playing for the Sagicor High Performance Centre, had scores of 56, 42, 74 and 63 not out in the two four-day games, and stroked a fluent 67 in the first List A match.

The Georgetown Cricket Club batsman has already represented the West Indies, having played three One Day Internationals back in 2008.

First Published In The Guyana Times.

Sun, 06/15/2014 - 08:25