June 18, 2021

“Pitches a major concern in the Caribbean” – Shiv

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Shiv-and-NarBy Avenash Ramzan From GuyanaTimes

– Providence turf among them

The issue of improper cricket pitches in the Caribbean has once again raised its ugly head, with one of world cricket’s top batsmen, Shivnarine

Chanderpaul, expressing grave concerns over the quality of turfs that are being prepared for regional competitions.

Chanderpaul comments come days after he was involved in a brilliant partnership with Narsingh Deonarine to lead Guyana Jaguars to a tremendous victory after being set a huge target of 333 by Barbados Pride in the seventh round of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Professional Cricket League (PCL) Four-day competition.

“The pitches are a major concern in the Caribbean. It’s not the same type of wickets we used to play on in the past. These same wickets we use to play on in the past, the ball used to come on better, more bounce, more pace…the bounce used to be a lot truer; not so uneven as these wickets we’re playing on now, the pace is inconsistent,” the ace West Indies batsman explained.

Chanderpaul, who has been plying his trade on the international circuit since 1994, said the current pitches in the Caribbean do little to help the current crop of regional batsmen aspiring to play at the highest level.

He continued, “It’s difficult for batters to improve and get better, especially when you play on wickets like these, and when you go play international games the wickets are much better, the ball is coming on better. It’s hard work batting on these wickets in the Caribbean, you have to be more watchful these days and you can’t be as fluent as you would like to be. It’s a major concern.”

The West Indies second highest Test runscorer referred to the pitch at the National Stadium, Providence, as typical of what obtains around the region, whereby batsmen don’t have the luxury of playing freely.

“The wicket [at Providence] is not like Bourda; unless they dig the wicket out and remove the sand only then it will become better. But it is not one of those wickets that as a batsman you want to play on, especially when the ball is rolling; some will pop on you, it will stop when you try to hit it, uneven bounce, uneven pace, you don’t know what to play for,” Chanderpaul explained.

The quality of pitches are being reflected in the numbers of the Four-day tournament, with only 14 centuries from seven rounds of competition, with just two individual scores over 150. There have been 13 totals over 300, with only three above 400; while there have been five under 100.

The spinners have reaped the bulk of the benefits, with seven of them in the top ten. The spin trio Veerasammy Permaul (46), Devendra Bishoo (38) and Imran Khan (36) sit at the top of the pile.

After five matches, Chanderpaul is number nine on the runscorers list with 332 runs at an average of 41.50 with three half-centuries. The only Guyanese above him is Deonarine with 435 runs at number three.

Barbados Pride opener Kraigg Brathwaite, with three centuries, is the leading runscorer with 516, followed by Devon Smith of Windward Islands Volcanoes with 458.

At the completion of seven rounds, Guyana Jaguars lead the points standing with 107, followed by Barbados Pride (82), Windward Islands Volcanoes (80), Jamaica (60), Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (47) and Leeward Islands Hurricanes (17).

The competition will resume next Friday with action in round eight.

IMAGE: Shivnarine Chanderpaul (right) and Narsingh Deonarine during their match-winning partnership against Barbados Pride last week

For more on this story go to: http://www.guyanatimesgy.com/2015/03/01/pitches-a-major-concern-in-the-caribbean-shiv/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pitches-a-major-concern-in-the-caribbean-shiv



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