Second Annual Noble Tourney
At a time where there is more action off the field than on it in local cricket and cricket officials spend a large amount of their time flexing their administrative muscles, the Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) continues to put player-development first.
Unlike the leaders of the Berbice Cricket Board, the Essequibo Cricket Board, both factions of the Demerara Cricket Board and the Guyana Cricket Board, Roger Harper, the GCA President, has been there and done that as a player…..at the highest level. He is also Guyana’s most qualified cricket Coach. It is therefore not surprising that the playing conditions for GCA’s competitions reflect an emphasis on developing fast bowlers and improving discipline among the city players, two areas of Guyana’s cricket that are badly lacking.
Yesterday at the Malteenoes Sports Club (MSC), the second annual Noble House Seafood two-day cricket competition was launched and it was pointed out that like in the recent GCA first division 50-over tournament, teams will face penalties if fast bowlers are not used for at least 25% of an innings that exceeds 20 overs. One point will be deducted for each over of pace that is not accounted for in each innings while Under-19 fast bowlers can bowl no more than six overs in a single spell in keeping with the WICB conditions.
Ninety overs must be bowled in a day in the matches which starts at 10:30hrs and MYO makes a return to GCA cricket joining the 13 others teams in the competition, which will be played in two zones.
Another example of the GCA’s commitment to improving the standard of the players both on and off the field is the regulation which states that teams will have four points deducted from whatever points gained during the competition for each of the following breaches of the code of conduct.
Littering of the match venue, leaving dressing rooms dirty and untidy, players being improperly dressed on the field, in-disciplined behavior, late arrival at venue, players showing dissent to umpiring decisions and players, Coaches or Managers showing dissent or heckling umpires from on or off the field.
It was also disclosed that the Umpires performances will be graded by the teams and their fellow on-field Umpires to evaluate the standard of the umpiring at the end of the competition.
The champions will collect $100,000 and trophy while the runner-up gets $60,000 and a trophy and Harper, former Guyana Captain and West Indies Vice-Captain told a disappointing turn out which included just two media houses and very few representatives of teams, that this was a very important competition at a time when limited overs cricket, especially T20 is attractive to sponsors.
“I must congratulate Nobel House Seafood for supporting this two-day competition at a time when it is less difficult to get sponsors for limited overs cricket, especially T20 which is fast and furious. Real cricket development comes from two innings cricket which forces the batsmen to build an innings and put a price on their wickets. It also gets players accustomed to spending a long time on the field while bowlers learn the art of taking wickets by out-thinking the batsmen and bowling long spells,” The former West Indies Head Coach explained.
Harper, who got into the West Indies side during the glory days of the 1980s and was many times the lone spinner in a ferocious pace attack that dominated the world, said that too many times fast bowlers in local cricket bowl a few overs to take the shine off the ball and you never see them again. According to Harper, the fast bowling regulations will give pacers an opportunity to attract the attention of the selectors.
Harper also lamented the unavailability of grounds in the city and informed that just two first round matches will be played tomorrow and Sunday due to this problem.
“While we (GCA) understand the constraints of cricket clubs we hope they understand the importance of making their venues available for cricket. It is disappointing that a Fashion and Furniture show takes precedence over cricket at Guyana’s most famous cricket ground. We are also trying to improve discipline in all regards as we try to take our cricket forward,” Harper said.
GCA Competitions Committee Chairman Shawn Massiah said that approximately 210 players will be on show with defending champions GCC heading one zone and runner-up GDF the other.
Massiah, who plays for Transport Sports Club, also stressed to importance of two innings cricket to the development of the young players, many of whom are incapable of bowling in an attacking manner to take wickets and batsmen are good at slugging a fast 40 or 50 but can’t concentrate long enough to get double centuries and consistent big scores.
Personal Manager of Nobel House Seafood, Piercy Corlette said his company has been associated with cricket for a long time and reminded that its first owner was former West Indies left-hander Timur Mohamed while its present owner, Les Romallo is a cricket fan and its Manager Richard Jodah is a former Guyana youth batsman.
“We are very happy to be sponsoring this competition and we hope that the players don’t squander the many opportunities they have that the players long ago never had. We wish the competition all the success of last year and hope that the players use it to move their cricket careers upwards,” Corlette said.
University of Guyana (UG) host Transport Sports Club and GYO are at home to Malteenoes Sports Club in the two matches which commence tomorrow.