(by Iva Wharton)
“Mixed Sporting Fortunes for Guyana”
Squash: Guyana retained the regional team title for a ninth consecutive year when they competed in the Junior Caribbean Squash Championship held in Trinidad and Tobago in July. The girls also secured their eighth consecutive title. The competition is in its 31st year.
Among the title holders for Guyana were: Rebecca Low, Captain Victoria Arjoon, Gabby Fraser and Akelia Wiltshire on the women’s side, while Ben Mekdeci, Shomari and Jean Claude Jeffrey won for the men.
Guyana unfortunately did not have a good run in the individual matches when they came up against their counterparts from host Trinidad and Tobago. Neither were they able to fare well against Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Barbados, the OECS or Bermuda.
Under-18 School Football Championship: Wismar-Christianburg Secondary captured the Digicel Under 18 Schools’ Football Championship for a second year. They defeated favourites Waramadong Secondary. One hundred and sixty schools competed in the five-week tournament which was played at several venues across the country. Covent Gardens Secondary captured the third place trophy over St. George’s Secondary.
Team Wismar-Christianburg Secondary won another $1 million cash prize for their school. The prize money will be used to fund a school project of their choice. Second place Waramadong won $500,000, Covent Gardens $300,000 and St. Georges $200,000 respectively.
Pool: Sean DeSouza of McDoom, East Bank Demerara captured the title in the inaugural Pool championship sponsored by local beverage giant Banks DIH under its Banks Beer brand. Apart from trophies, the three walked away with cash incentives amounting to $125,000, $70,000 and $35,000 respectively.
Players from Essequibo, Linden, Berbice, East Bank Demerara, East Coast Demerara and Georgetown competed in the tournament.
Tennis: Nicola Ramdyhan, Anthony Downes and Godfrey Lowden won big in the Guyana Band for Industry and Trade (GBTI) Open Championship played between July and August.
Ramdyhan captured the Ladies’ Singles title, Downes the Men’s Singles title while Lowden the Men’s over 35 title.
The competition, according to the Vice President of the Guyana Tennis Association Grace McCalmont, has emerged into the premier lawn tennis championship in Guyana.
However, the association is making another call for more local courts of high a quality to be built in order to attract regional players.
CPL : The Caribbean Premier League seems to have ushered in renewed interest in the shorter version of the game of cricket, T20. The tournament came on stream in July across six Caribbean countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.
This was evident with sold out crowds at all venues throughout the region to support their team of choice among the Antigua Hawksbills, Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, St Lucia Zouks, Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel.
Mirroring the Asian format, the Indian Premier League (IPL), the CPL drafted both regional and international franchise players.
Jamaica’s Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle, Trinidadians Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo and Saint Lucian Darren Sammy were the regional players. While Australia’s Rickey Ponting, New Zealand’s Ross Taylor, Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik, South African’s Herschelle Gibbs and Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan were among the international franchise players. Malik replaced Australian Adam Gilchrist, who pulled out of the tournament due to injury.
One regional and one international franchise player was appointed to each of the six franchise teams with a subsequent draft being held to buy other players to form the franchie teams with a stipulation that under-23 players be included on the teams.
Guyana’s franchise was acquired by businessman Dr. Ranjisingh ’Bobby’ Ramroop’s of the New GPC Inc. Ramroop later assumed title sponsorship of the league through his Limacol Brand. Thus, the tournament was branded the Limacol CPL.
The T20 tournament was created to replace the Regional T20 tournament organised by the West Indies Cricket Board.