Essequibo taking softball cricket by storm – Khalid Baksh
Guyana Chronicle article.
GEORGETOWN, GUYANA - While Berbice and Demerara have firmly written their names as the powerhouses in Guyana for hardball cricket, Essequibo is fastly making its name in softball cricket and taking it by storm.
This is the firm view expressed by Coordinator for the Guyana Floodlight Softball Cricket Association in Essequibo, Khalid Baksh.
Baksh said that with a number of competitions held by his association and others, softball cricket is rapidly growing in Essequibo with regular tournaments being held to further increase the interest.
This, he said has the ability to propel Essequibo to being a powerhouse in softball cricket. He said that the very large number of teams from Essequibo entering softball cricket competitions staged by his association and other associations, noting that the exploits of the Cotton Field Wild Oates, Smith Eleven, R1 and Adventure, demonstrates that Essequibo should no longer be taken lightly in cricket.
“For years and yes in the hardball version of the game, little is known of Essequibo but when it comes to softball cricket everyone knows that it’s a different kettle of fish. Essequibo is rapidly growing in being a very competitive county in softball and I would venture to say that we have the ability to hold our own. Therefore, I think that it would help to boost those who play hard ball in Essequibo to improve their game,” Baksh said.
Making reference to the performance of the Cotton Field Wild Oates two years ago, he said that when they had entered the Guyana Cup competition many had not thought that they would have won the championship. He said that through hard work and excellent performance the team grabbed the 600,000 top prize.
He pointed out that while no team from Essequibo took last year’s title the performance raised eyebrows. He however firmly believes that Cotton field Wild Oates should be regarded as one of the country’s top three teams.
“ I want to say that it is important that persons dismiss the common myth that teams from Essequibo don’t have the ability to win major tournaments, they should look at how softball is being played in Essequibo you would recognize that it was no surprise to us,” he declared.
Baksh said that he is pleased with the progression of the sport of softball cricket in Essequibo noting that it would help to create the passion and determination to excel in the hardball version.
He pointed out that teams from Essequibo are jumping at the opportunity to compete in any softball cricket competition that his association, GFSCA and others are holding, which he believes truly demonstrates their passion for it. He further noted that teams around the county are also giving a good feedback about competitions staged by GFSCA.
Baksh stressed that he wants to see teams from Essequibo continue exploiting the sport, stressing that other teams can follow suit the exploits of Cotton Field Wild Oates.
He reiterated that softball cricket is a very popular sport in Essequibo, and because of this youths are getting more actively involved in softball cricket rather than the hard ball version of the game.
“The other counties might be dominating in hardball cricket but we are certainly growing rapidly in softball and its only a matter of time before we completely dominate softball cricket as we are doing everything to ensure the continued growth and development of the sport in Essequibo.
Let me further say that this should be a warning that teams from Essequibo should not be taken lightly as it’s time to know about Essequibo in softball,” he said smilingly.