Jaguars’ head coach confident of bringing home ‘long overdue’ Super50 title

first_img“This year, it is here for us, to be honest, but we have to go out and show it with good plans and execution. So it is how best we cope with the expectations, and I think when we get to the big games, we need to treat it as another game and go out and execute so I am confident of bringing home the trophy this year.” Those were the words of Guyana Jaguars’ head coach Esaun Crandon on his team’s prospects of winning their first Cricket West Indies/Colonial Medical Insurance Regional Super50 title since 2005.Speaking exclusively to Stabroek Sport, Crandon reckoned that the team is comprised of a decent mix of players with the expectation to win, taken seriously.“I think we’ve got a good team on paper, a lot of experience in the side. We’ve got a couple new faces so I think it is a decent blend and balanced team on paper… Obviously our expectation is to do well and win this tournament. It is just for us to play very good cricket and play competitively, take it one game at a time and come out victorious,” Crandon said. Finishing second last year has yet again dampened the spirits of a country that has reigned supreme in the longer four-day format for the last five years but coming from that, Crandon believes that the troops have been exposed to a lot of work both on and off the field, making them better equipped to take back the long-elusive title.“We have not lived up to expectations which is to win the championship…We have been around and about there in terms of semi-finals and finals but we had not found the recipe to cross the final hurdle until now…” Crandon posited. “Coming from second last year, it is a process for us. To finish second last season then we had our off-season work, a lot of physical work [was] affected during the period with our rainy weather, which was extended, but nevertheless, we were able to put in some work over the past couple of weeks…” he added.The former West Indies assistant coach credited the recently concluded local franchise league as one of the main factors in getting the players accustomed to white ball cricket. “In the last six weeks, I think we put in a lot of quality work with the guys focusing on white ball cricket. And with our league just concluded, the guys would have had a lot of cricket under their belt and going into this competition pretty prepared,” he observed.With the inclusion of a few new faces, Crandon trusts that this is an opportunity for them to step up and become match winners rather than dwell on the absence of a number of key players who have gone on to the West Indies senior side.Notably missing were Keemo Paul, Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford and Romario Shepherd but the likes of Jonathan Foo, Ronsford Beaton, Nial Smith and Kemol Savory have joined the ranks. “I think missing those players, I wouldn’t look at it as a blow to the team but a positive whereas you give other younger players the opportunity to come in and showcase their talent. Obviously, they would have performed credible in our league and in club cricket as well so I think we still have a good crop of players that can get the job done…These guys that are missing, we know what they are capable of, they are all match winners but it is an opportunity to create more match winners and again, it is going to test the strength and depth of our cricket so I am really looking forward to it,” Crandon explained.The Jaguars have two warm-up matches before they depart for Trinidad and Tobago. One has already been completed and the other is set for today at the Enmore Community Centre ground, games which the head coach labelled as “crucial matches.”“The two warm-ups are very important going into the series with some sort of cricket. Obviously those two games would give us an opportunity to put our plans in place, put our combination together as to who we are looking to play and what roles they are expected to play, so those two games will help us better define that. It is very good for the guys to go out there and perform, not just those selected but those in reserve,” he indicated. While the team reflects experience, since last season, Crandon has been able to elevate some players into the senior West Indies side as well as the ‘A’ team, ventures he credited with making him better equipped to serve Guyana’s cricket.“The lessons doesn’t change for me, but it was a different experience, different exposure to individuals, conditions and leading various teams. I will say it again; it has obviously better equipped me to serve Guyana’s cricket and the players. It has been long overdue to lift the title in white ball cricket,” Crandon related.last_img