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Guyana’s Greats – Past and Present

Guyana’s Greats – Past and Present

As in the rest of the Caribbean, Guyanese cricket is a national passion. Guyana has contributed more than its fair share of excellent players in the West Indies side, including seven captains, one of whom, Clive Lloyd, holds the record as one of the most successful captains in cricket history. During his captaincy the WI Team had a run of 27 matches without defeat that included 11 wins in succession. Lloyd also led the West Indies to World Cup limited-overs triumph in 1975 and 1979 and saw his 102 against Australia in the inaugural World Cup final adjudged the best ODI performance by a Guyanese player.

Then there is Rohan Kanhai who took the award for the best batting performance by a Guyanese player for his scintillating knock of 256 against India at Calcutta in the 1958-59 series. He is considered as a cricketing legend and is famous for his unorthodox shots, most notably the “falling hook” shot, in which he finished his follow through lying on his back. Kanhai was also the fifth West Indies batsman to score a century in each innings of a Test – against Australia at Adelaide in the memorable 1960-61 tour. This right-handed West Indian batsman has featured in several great West Indian teams playing with the legendary Sir Garfield Sobers, and other notable Guyanese including the late Roy Fredericks, Lance Gibbs and Alvin Kallicharran.

Carl Hooper, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan, all of whom have captained the West Indies team, have devoted their skills to the West Indies effort. Hooper enjoyed a prolific 2002 home series against India, when he made a career-best of 233 runs and hit two other centuries in amassing 579 runs at an average of 82.71. The left-handed Chanderpaul is best known for his ability to be an anchor at the wicket for long hours. His first worthwhile impact on Test cricket was being the last batting partner of Brian Lara when Lara broke Gary Sobers’ record of 365. Chanderpaul has also made the sixth fastest century in Test cricket, scoring three figures in just 67 balls at the GCC Ground Bourda. Shiv, as he is affectionately called, retired from international cricket earlier this year after playing 164 Test matches – a record number of matches by a West Indian. He also has the second most runs by a West Indian in Test cricket; scoring 11,867 Test runs.

Ramnaresh Sarwan made his debut against Pakistan at Bridgetown in 2000 when he remained unbeaten in both innings scoring 84 in the first inning. The stylish right-handed batsman no longer plays for the WI. Recently, another Guyanese captain led the West Indies U19 team to World Cup glory. Shimron Hetmyer, a Berbician, marshalled his troops well to defeat India in the final. Two other Guyanese were in the team. They are wicket-keeper and opening batsman, Tevin Imlach and all-rounder and vice-captain Keemo Paul.

On a final note, to Guyanese cricket is more than just a “Sport” it’s a religion. Come play some “Bat and ball” with us on your next visit.

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