By Ravi Madholall in Toronto
Former Guyana wicketkeeper/batsman Azib Alli Hanif is fully confident the Guyana Jaguars team can be triumphant in this year’s West Indies Cricket Board regional Super50 tournament which bowls off later this month in co-host countries Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda.
Hanif, who is currently residing in Canada, explained that the Guyanese team is loaded with talented players and who also have great temperament for the abbreviated version.
The right-handed cricketer stated that with the inclusion of veteran batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the side should have a greater level of psychology over its opponents.
He further mentioned that the team looks balanced and once they execute their plans in every facets of their game, winning the elusive one-day trophy should not be difficult.
“Well, the team is blended with lots of senior guys who have been playing a while now and alongside shiv which will help them to encounter with his experience in many ways.
Definitely, they need to execute in all departments on the field and not to take any team lightly and with shiv in the team it’s a big plus for the Guyana squad especially with the wealth of his experience,” Hanif, who featured in 11 first-class matches for his native country related.
He singled out his fellow Berbician Jonathan Foo as a great asset for the team referring to his aggressive style and flamboyance.
He strongly believes Foo has shown the ability too to hit the ball well and is suited for the limited-over game and very optimistic the right-handed Foo can make an impression.
Guyana, who last won a regional 50-over title in 2005, will begin their quest for supremacy against arch-rivals Barbados at the Kensington Oval in a Group B fixture.
The other teams that made up the Group are: Jamaican Scorpions, Combined Campuses and Colleges Maroneers and International Cricket Council Americas.
Quizzed on Guyana’s chances, Hanif pointed out that there are a lot of teams that will be anxious to win the trophy but Guyana must be in ‘ravenous mood’ for success.
“I think once the Guyanese boys play committed and hard cricket and show the eagerness to be successful, they can come out as the champion side; obviously the other competitors would want to do well so we have got to be consistent with our performances,” Hanif who lives in Ontario Province, commented.
The Guyana contingent will have four-day victorious captain and West Indies batsman Leon Johnson as the leader while several other players with international exposure are in the lineup. Hanif believes that the selection is excellent having these senior campaigners on show and they can do exceedingly well to make the Jaguars roar to the top.
When Guyana emerged winner in their last championship tournament Chanderpaul was the captain. Since the inauguration of one-day cricket in 1972/73, Guyana only captured eight titles.
Notably, Trinidad and Tobago Red Force are the reigning champion and placed in Group A alongside Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Windward Islands Volcanoes, West Indies Under-19s and English County side Kent.