HEMRAJ TARGETING PCL, JAGUARS CALL-UP

After a solid performance is the just concluded Jaguars Franchise League three-day tournament, talented batsman, Chanderpaul Hemraj, feels he stands a good chance in reviving his first-class career.

Hemraj is aiming for when the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Professional Cricket League (PCL) four-day tournament bowls off next month.

The 23-year-old batsman, who hails from the village of Cane Grove on the East Coast Demerara, smashed the highest individual score in the eight-team tournament, 250, and was the fourth highest run-scorer, with 562 runs.

Dubbed as one of the most promising cricketers of the Region, Hemraj has had little success in his short first-class career to date.

The former West Indies Under-19 batsman, who has the ambition of representing the West Indies in all formats at the senior level, has appeared in five first-class matches, but played his last game in April 2014,against the Leeward Islands.

Four of those matches have been played on foreign soil, and Hemraj has managed 131 runs at an average of 13.10 with a highest score of 34.

However, the talented batsman,in an exclusive interview yesterday,said he is pleased with his overall performance and feels his chances of a first-class return is just around the corner.

“Before the start of the tournament, I had my goals set out. My goal was to produce a solid performance with the bat, and I think I have achieved that,” Hemraj said.

He added “With that performance, I hope it sent a message to the selectors, and I am confident that my first-class career will be back on track”.

Hemraj, who is among the academy’s players named by Cricket Guy Inc (CGI) in November last year, can only make his first-class return this season on a ‘Pay-for-Play’ basis, since he is not a contracted player with the Guyana Jaguars nor was he a part of the Player Draft for the 2016-2017 season, which took place on June 16, at the Coppin/Cozier/Short Media Centre at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Meanwhile, the 2016-2017 PCL is set to begin on November 11, and veteran West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul heads the list of the Guyana Jaguars contracted players.

Chanderpaul, the region’s most capped Test player (164 Tests), is expected to play a mentor role, since Chairman of Selectors and former national fast bowler, Rayon Griffith,opted for a number of young players.

However, the Guyana Jaguars opted for its local players, with only 21-year-old Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder Vikash Mohan,being the only new imported draft choice.

Barbadian left-handed all-rounder,Raymon Reifer,is the other foreign player, but he was one of ten players retained by the Guyana Jaguars.

The other contracted players for the new season are: Shimron Hetmyer, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Vishaul Singh, Assad Fudadin, Christopher Barnwell, Veerasammy Permaul, Gudakesh Motie, Keon Joseph, Anthony Bramble, Steven Jacobs, Paul Wintz and Romario Shephard.

Further, it must be noted that batsmen Leon Johnson and Rajendra Chandrika, along with leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, were not considered for contracts since they all have WICB retainer contracts.

First Published In The Guyana Chronicle.

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