Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 14th 2014 Contents A59
December 14, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
West Indies starts its long,
important tour of South Africa
proper on Wednesday when Test
No. 1 bowls off at Super-sports
Park, Centurion, one of the more
airy and refreshing cricket grounds
anywhere. For WI to succeed on
this tour, a tough assignment, total
team fitness throughout is the key!
This tour is of tremendous sig-
nificance, as it follows immediately
on what happened in India. More
to the point, the next assignment
for WI will be ICC Cricket World
Cup in February/March next year.
The three vastly important Tests
should tell us how WI, collectively,
have survived after India, having not
played Tests since beating
Bangladesh last September. But, it
would be the latter part of this SA
tour, five ODI s, which would prob-
ably have more significance for CWC
Form and fitness
Lanky orthodox leg-spinner
Suleiman Benn must hold his form
and fitness, for, as the lone front-
line spinner in the party, he could
expect extended bowling spells.
WI s attack is fast-bower based,
with left-hander Sheldon Cottrell,
Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder,
Kemar Roach and Jerome Taylor
vying for positions.
Roach and Taylor are sureties, if
fully fit, so it may come done to the
immediate form of the others to
form the 1st Test attack.
Cottrell has already shown that
he has form, with a five-wicket haul
in the lone warm-up game, so
Gabriel and Holder could be com-
peting for that lone remaining bowl-
ing place, if five bowlers are used.
Many have already written off
WI s chances of doing positively,
even winning a Test, or, indeed, the
series. Their build-up has been min-
imal, forfeiting chances of proper
preparation for this tour by histor-
ically curtailing their last to India.
We are told that all is now well!
The visitors can surprise
While the proof is in the eating,
we should not be so quick to think
that it would be all so very simple
for SA, and that WI will, ironically,
be "whitewashed" by the rainbow
nation s always exciting cricketers.
WI could surprise, for they have
many objectives to meet, not least
that they are still a cohesive unit,
that they are now focused solely on
cricket, and that they, as quickly as
possible, want to remove that stain
and embarrassment of India s tour
that ended in such a debacle.
Some WI supporters are still
catching their breaths and scratching
their heads from the India crash!
One of the charms of Super-
sports Park is that patrons in western
areas of the ground are allowed to
do their own cooking "tail-gate
style"---standard South African
"brie" or barbeque---where all meats
are marinated, cooked; aromas uni-
versal; and immediately consumed,
normally with several types of liq-
But food should be the last thing
on WI s minds. If they do not con-
centrate, organize especially their
batting, then they will be devoured
by a SA team which, so differently
to WI, have had a recent series of
games in Australia to bring them up
to levels of fitness and production
they would hope for.
OK, SA s tour of Australia only
contained T-20 s and ODI s, SA los-
ing 2-1 and 4-1 respectively, but at
least, SA s cricketers had stern oppo-
sition very recently in their last series
before meeting WI.
Contrarily, WI s players have only
had WICB s Regional 4-day com-
petition as preparation, and scores
in those games have been so ordinary
that the team s batting overall must
be of grave concern.
Shiv, Samuel and Ramdin
hold the batting fortunes
Especially with Chris Gayle now
out, due to injury, massive respon-
sibilities are on other veterans Shiv
Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels, sur-
prisingly recalled Devon Smith and
captain Denesh Ramdin, to not only
produce, but to remain the rocks
to build on for any success.
Fortunately, even if the opposi-
tion, SA Invitation XI, was not half
as good as SA s Test team will be,
Smith celebrated his recall with an
immediate century---174 retired
out---which would boost his con-
fidence no end. Replacing Gayle
will not be easy for him, but at
least, his should be flying sky high!
Chanderpaul did not dominate
games played for Guyana this year.
Indeed, it was Narsingh Deonarine
who was going guns, yet, somewhat
surprisingly, it was Suinarine
Chattagoon who was called up.
Leon Johnson, yet another
Guyanese left-hander, could find
himself under real pressure for his
Chattagoon, who replaced
unavailable Darren Bravo, has
played only three Tests: 122 runs,
five innings, average 30. He
impressed recently on WI s "A"
team tour to Sri Lanka.
Marlon Samuels has started SA s
tour where he left off from that
tour to India, with a double cen-
tury---203 retired out, to renew his
appetite for runs, as, farcically, he
was not allowed to play for Jamaica
this year in WICB s Regional 4-
day competition. Much will depend
on Samuels efforts in SA!
Ramdin s leadership, wicket-
keeping skills and absolutely crucial
runs must be spot on, if WI is to
challenge for supremacy, while
opener Kraigg Braitwaite and still
improving Jermaine Blackwood
would have to settle quickly, real-
izing that SA s bowling attack is
varied and highly competent.
This tour, after India s situation,
will be hard for WI, but fortune
favors the brave and determined.
WI will need these two factors, and
full fitness, to succeed in SA.
Clint Charles of the Lower
Morvant Government School in
Morvant was on Tuesday recog-
nised by the Port-of-Spain and
Environs Sports Council Lunch-
eon and Awards Ceremony held
at the Supervisors Office in Port
Charles, a standard two teacher,
was the Sports Council member
who achieved the most in the year
2014 and for that he was recog-
nized with the inaugural Most
Valuable Sports Council Member
for the Year 2014 honour.
He was instrumental in putting
his school Lower Morvant Gov-
ernment on the world stage with
Jump Rope and now has the T&T
Jump Rope Association, the Gov-
erning Body which is recognized
for Jump Rope in T&T.
A resident of Laventille, he was
also responsible for the Lower
Morvant Government setting a
jumping record world-wide when
his school was local televised dur-
ing a live broadcast early this year.
The T&T Jump Rope team cap-
tured eight gold medals at the
World Jump Rope competition.
School Supervisor 1- Teemal
Sharma, who has the responsibility
for Sport in the District could not
hide his delight with the perform-
ance of the Port of Spain & Envi-
rons Sports Council.
He stated: "It is a privilege to
work with principals and teachers
who work so unselfishly for the
good of children in Port of Spain
and T&T. What we have accom-
plished this year speaks volumes
for the dedication and commit-
ment of this group. Continue your
Chairman of the Sport Council
Kelvin Nancoo was full of praise
for the members of the Sports
Council whom he said worked
beyond the call of duty. That is a
norm and what we have achieved
in 2014 is testimony of the Plan-
ning, Organising and Execution of
our unit. I am very happy and I
hope the camaraderie which exist
in the Sports Council, the love and
the caring will permeate through-
out the district, to ensure contin-
ued success in the coming year.
Nancoo thanked all the Super-
visor who assisted in making this
year the success which it was and
also showered praised on former
School Supervisor III---Cheryl
Ann-Wilkinson who he stated was
the saviour of the Sports Council.
Also present was Salisha Hosein,
School Supervisor 1.
'Fitness the main key for any
West Indies success in South Africa!'
COLIN EH CROFT
Charles is MVP 2014
for PoS & Environs
Teemal Sharma---School Supervisor I, left, hands over the Trophy for the Sports
Council Member who has accomplished most for the year to Clint Charles of
Lower Morvant Government. PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
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