By Akeem Greene
The upcoming CG Insurance Super50 Cup will feature some of the biggest names in the current West Indies arrangement and performing well against them could go a long way in nudging the senior regional selectors.
White ball captain Kieron Pollard, Test jumper Jason Holder, exciting Nicholas Pooran, spin wizard Sunil Narine and West Indies limited bowling bowling, Sheldon Cottrell, are among the Caribbean’s frontline limited overs players who will be playing in the tournament.
This year, the six-team tournament will take a red robin format, rather than the usual group stage, which means that a young Guyanese batsman, Akshaya Persaud, is sure to come up against quality opposition.
“Having the big names is an added boost, an added incentive for me. Growing up you’ve always been watching TV and seeing those guys playing and now going to play against them is a really good thing for me, so I’m looking forward to the challenge , ”He was about Sports Newsroom in a recent interview.
Although this is his first call to the Jaguars Super50 squad, the left-handed Persian has already played A-list cricket. In 2019, he was part of the Combined Campuses and Colleges squad.
He scored 137 runs in five strikeouts at an average of 34.25 with two fifties, while also grabbing four wickets with this left arm spin.
The two half centuries – an unbeaten 51 and 55 – came against Barbados Pride bowling attack involving West Indies players Ashley Nurse, Miguel Cummins and Chemar Holder.
“(In 2019) I had a pretty good tournament with CCC, but now to be representing Guyana in the upcoming Super50 is a good feeling for me to enter the tournament.”
The youngster from Cornelia Ida on the West Coast of Demerara added, “It was a good opportunity for me (playing for CCC), I learned a lot. There were the likes of Carlos Brathwaite around the team, so I tried to learn as much as possible from him, and try to apply it to my game. ”
Judging from Guyana Jaguars’ three practice matches, Persaud is likely to find a place in the middle for lower order, to fulfill the ‘finisher’ role, and is something the 23-year-old player passionate about it.
“I suppose that may be my role looking at the team combination, but whatever opportunity I have, I want to put my best foot forward and hopefully we can go ahead this year and win the tournament.”
Despite the pandemic, the player contracted Cricket Guyana Inc. that it must be innovative at home to ensure that it keeps itself in the best possible shape.
“For a few months, we couldn’t train outdoors, so we tried to maximize whatever we had at home to use as weights and whatever we could have done online with our trainer [Neil] Barry Jr. and as time went by, later in the year, we did some running and some outdoor training and some indoor work. I guess it’s progress and it’s coming along really well. ”
This year’s Super50 will be played in a ‘bubble’ in Antigua from February 7-27. The Jaguars’ first game is on Feb. 8 against Barbados Pride on the Coolidge Cricket pitch.