Harper Out, Seeram Re-Appointed Coach

Date Published: 
Guyana Times
Rajiv Bisnauth

Former Guyana middle order batsman Ravidranauth Seeram has been re-appointed Guyana’s national head coach, replacing Mark Harper for next month’s Caribbean T20 Cup which will be played in Antigua and Barbados.

Seeram, who also serves as a senior selector, was appointed coach of the senior side in the middle of the 2009 season, replacing the then coach, Albert Smith before he was replaced by Harper last January. The move by the board will definitely raise eye brows since Seeram, who is only a Level One coach as opposed to Harper who is at Level Two, was only successful in the 2010 Caribbean T20 competition.

Seeram’s re-appointment by the board is puzzling since he has failed to produce any significant record during his first stint with the national side. Under his guidance Guyana has produced their worst ever totals in 50-over and T20 cricket in back-to-back tournaments, when they made 100 against Barbados in Jamaica in November 2010 and 65 against Jamaica in the T20 competition January last in Antigua.

The 49-year-old Seeram scored two centuries and 11 fifties and averaged 35.00 from 31 first class games for Guyana and played two youth 'Tests' for the West Indies in 1980.

However, Cricket Operations Officer attached to the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), Robin Singh, had recently told this publication that the GCB does not appoint coaches on a yearly basis but rather on a tournament to tournament basis.

The 53-year-old Harper, a former Bermuda national coach, is the elder brother of former West Indies coach Roger Harper and played the last of his 42 first class and 13 regional limited overs matches in 1991.

Harper also had a terrible time with the national side. His tenure saw the senior team, the Amazon Conquerors, eliminated from the group stage of January’s Regional Twenty20 in Antigua. They also failed to win a game in the four-day competition, and got knocked out in the semi-final stage of the Regional Super50 hosted in Guyana last October.

Harper, a Level Two coach, first played for Guyana at the Under-19 level against Jamaica in Barbados as a 13-year-old off-spinner in 1972 and represented the West Indies Under-19 team in a single youth ‘Test’ in 1976.

Meanwhile, a release from the Guyana Cricket Board stated that Manager David Black, Head Coach Rabindranauth Seeram, Assistant Coach David Harper, GCB Cricket Operations Officer Robin Singh, who will provide technical (video analysis) and logistical support, along with Captain Christopher Barnwell and Vice Captain Verasammy Permaul will constitute the on-tour management team.

The release further stated that the board wishes Seeram who had led the Amazon Conquerors to victory in the inaugural Caribbean Twenty20 tournament further success in his second assignment. According to the release, assistant coach David Harper has recently returned from England where he worked and qualified as a Level Two coach. The board wished him good luck and success in his new role.

The release also disclosed that the GCB intends to provide all material and logistical support for the Amazon Conquerors as they seek to repeat their historic feat and bring glory, joy and unity to all Guyanese people everywhere.

In concluding, the release thanked Mr Mark Harper for the work done in previous tournaments and reminded all that GCB coaching assignments are done on a tour-by-tour basis.