Sarwan says ?we are ready? as Guyana prepare for CLT20 debut

Sunday, September 12, 2010 will be one of the biggest days in Guyanese cricket history and surely the biggest day in the careers of many members of the Guyana team. On Sunday, Ramanresh Sarwan will lead his side onto the field at Supersports Park in Centurion as they start the “journey into the unknown”.

The Amazon Conquerors – as they are branded – will come face-to-face with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their opening match in Group B of the Airtel Champions League T20 tournament. First ball in the evening contest is 5.30 pm (11.30 am Eastern Caribbean Time/10.30 am Jamaica Time).

The Guyanese arrived in South Africa last week and have been working hard to get acclimatized to the foreign conditions and ready for the challenge. Many see the Caribbean T20 champs as underdogs, but skipper Sarwan outlined that anything is possible in the shortest version and his players will be confident as they come up against their more experienced opponents. He was speaking on Saturday, shortly after the team had a training session at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

“We are confident that once we play to our potential we can go all the way and the pressure will be on the Challengers ... our batting is our strength and we have to stay focused and field well. We are all in this together and the team spirit is great. The ball should bounce a bit more than home but we have talked about that and we are ready,” Sarwan said.

All eyes will be on rookie power-hitter Jonathan Foo, who celebrated his 20th birthday on Saturday. The right-hander has been the centre of attention since arriving in South Africa and he will be hoping to demonstrate his prowess against an attack featuring Dale Steyn, the leading fast bowler in world cricket.

The batting will be centred around Sarwan as well as openers Travis Dowlin and Sewnarine Chattergoon --two experienced players who, like Sarwan, have represented the West Indies in South Africa. They are familiar with the conditions and will be looking to provide a solid start.

The bowling will be in the capable hands of veteran off-spinner Lennox Cush, leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo; as well as seamers Esuan Crandon, who can bowl a tight line, and Chris Barnwell, who has the ability to pick up crucial wickets.

: Ramnaresh Sarwan (captain), Travis Dowlin, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Narsingh Deonarine, Chris Barnwell, Royston Crandon, Jonathon Foo, Derwin Christian, Assad Fudadin, Lennox Cush, Esuan Crandon, Steven Jacobs, Davendra Bishoo, Paul Wintz, Richard Ramdeen

Bangalore Royal Challengers: Anil Kumble (captain), Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli, Ross Taylor, Jacques Kallis, Cameron White, Robin Uthappa, Vinay Kumar, Abhimanyu Mithun, Nayan Doshi, Dale Steyn, Manish Pandey, Dillon du Preez, Balachandra Akhil, Praveen Kumar