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19 Sep

Jaguars ‘well prepared’ for title defence, says Griffith

first_imgTHREE-times Professional Cricket League (PCL) four-day champions, Guyana Jaguars will commence their title defence today when they square off against the Jamaica Scorpions in round one of the region’s leading first-class tournament at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.Akshaya Persaud, who is the lone new face in the Jaguars 13-man squad, during the training session. (Samuel Maughn photo)While the Guyanese will be aiming for a fourth straight title, Manager/Assistant Coach of the Jaguars unit, Rayon Griffith, believes the side is much better equipped, and is confident of a successful title defence of the six-team tournament.Speaking to Chronicle Sport yesterday prior to the squad’s training session, Griffith, the former Guyana fast bowler, is optimistic that the team can bank on its preparation to kick start their campaign on a winning note.“We are prepared and ready,” the 38-year-old said.He added “The just concluded Franchise League definitely gave us some excellent preparation. I think the guys need to play some cricket, and as long you played the game you can only learn, so I am confident of a successful title defence”.The squad is somewhat inexperienced, taking into consideration the unavailability of a number of key players. However, Griffith, who represented the country in 22 first-classl matches, is of the opinion that the composition of the squad is a good one.“The squad is dominated more by the younger players, and I believed they will do well in this tournament,” Griffith pointed out.Left-hander Akshaya Persaud is the lone new face in an otherwise predictable squad. However, Griffith is of the view that Persaud’s recent form justified his selection.Jamaica Scorpions Head Coach, Robert Samuels“He (Persaud) has been excellent, and as a selector these are things we are looking at. I think if you can be consistent…that is what we want. I think it’s a good chance for him, so let’s see how he handles himself as the tournament goes along,” Griffith expressed.Persaud had a prolific run in the just-concluded Guyana Cricket Board three-day Franchise league where he emerged as the leading run scorer with 523 runs and two centuries with a highest score of 151.On the other hand, the Scorpions Head Coach, Robert Samuels in an invited comment yesterday, pointed out that while his unit is a relatively young one, he is confident of a competitive game.“Playing Guyana is usually a big challenge, they are a good unit…they are the defending champions, but I am confident of a competitive game. My team is fairly young, a young unit, and as such I can’t tell you where our strength lies, but we are prepared,” Samuels said.The former Jamaica and West Indies opening batsman indicated that while Guyana has the home advantage, he expects a high-quality and high-class game from both teams.Romario Shepherd (in front) is expected to lead the Jaguars fast bowling unit. (Samuel Maughn photo)He added, “The pressure is on Guyana (Jaguars) to perform since they are the defending champions and the pressure is on us to go out and put on a good show”.The game starts at 09:30hrs, and admission into the venue is free.Other first round matches will see Barbados Pride hosting Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at Kensington Oval, while Windward Islands Volcanoes and Leeward Islands Hurricanes clash at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada.The tournament will again be contested under a round-robin format, featuring 10 rounds of matches, comprising five home and five away fixtures apiece, for each of the six franchises. The team to accumulate the most points will be declared the Champions.Guyana Jaguars squad reads: Leon Johnson (Captain), Veerasammy Permaul (Vice-captain), Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Rajendra Chandrika, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Bashkar Yadram, Keemo Paul, Anthony Bramble, Sherfane Rutherford, Gudakesh Motie, Romario Shepherd, Akshaya Persaud and Anthony Adams.Rayon GriffithJamaica Scorpions squad reads: Paul Palmer (Captain), Trevon Griffith, Assad Fudadin, Brandon King, Garth Garvey, Fabian Allen, Romaine Morris (wicketkeeper), Derval Green, Damani Sewell, Dennis Bulli, Paul Harrison, Keno Wallace and Jason Dawes. – Face Jamaica Scorpions from today at Providence  Stadiumlast_img read more