Full support for Guyanese as they prepare for Champions League

The successful members of the Guyana cricket team have been given the full backing of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) as they prepare compete against some of the world's best players in the Airtel Champions League in South Africa next month. The Guyanese, under the captaincy of Ramnaresh Sarwan, qualified for the Champions League when they defeated Barbados by one wicket in a thrilling final of the West Indies Cricket Board's (WICB) Caribbean T20 on July 31 at Queen's Park Oval. For the September 10 to 26 event they will be in Group B.

Chetram Singh, President of the GCB and also a Director of the WICB, said the team will get all the support required in preparation for the tournament. At last year’s tournament in India, Trinidad and Tobago represented the region and played extremely well, ending as losing finalists to New South Wales of Australia.

“We are looking to put up a good show and what we are hoping for is to get as far as Trinidad and Tobago got the last time around,” Singh said. “We all saw what happened in Trinidad the last time around. They went to the Champions League and they played very good cricket. They reached the final and not only did they attract people to the game in their country, but also regionally.”

Guyana won a cliffhanger against Barbados to reach the Champions League. The hero was teenager Jonathan Foo, who played a masterclass to win the Man-of-the-Match award in the final. The overall tournament MVP was Devendra Bishoo, the little leg-spinner who bowled well throughout the tournament and also had the honour of hitting the winning runs in the final.

“We have a good team, and we could do very well in South Africa. Our players are keen, and really want to bring the success back home. If this is done, then we would have a lot more people being attracted to the game of cricket, and it would help us in developing it. Also our players have a great chance to get recognised on the world stage, and get contracts to benefit themselves. We are hoping for the best,” Singh said.

The Guyanese will play alongside Royal Challengers Bangalore on September 12 at SuperSport Park in Centurion, against Mumbai Indians on September 16 at Kingsmead in Durban; against Highveld Lions on September 19 at the Wanderers in Johannesburg; and return to the same venue two days later to face South Australia Redbacks.