GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Guyana Jaguars head coach, Esuan Crandon, has heaped praise on budding all-rounder Keemo Paul, after the 19-year-old topped the fast bowling aggregates during the just concluded Regional Four-Day Championship.
Paul, in his first full first class campaign, finished with 42 wickets at an average of 18.69 apiece, to be third overall on the list of the highest wicket-takers, behind countryman Veerasammy Permaul (50) and Trinidad and Tobago Red Force’s Imran Khan (48).
“Talking of the younger players, Keemo Paul is the first name that comes to mind. He’s a very brave young player, very talented obviously and he is learning quickly, and that’s the most important thing,” Crandon said.
“This is the second season for him – this is his first full season – and he has done tremendously with the ball.”
Paul was a key member of the West Indies side that captured the ICC Under-19 World Cup in 2016. He averaged 41 with the bat and picked up seven wickets at under five runs per over, and an average of 21.
He made his first class debut for Jaguars a year later, claiming 10 wickets in three matches, including a career-best six for 28 as part of a nine-wicket match haul against Windward Islands Volcanoes at home.
This season, the right-armer led the Jaguars attack admirably, and while he managed only a single five-wicket haul, his consistency proved crucial in his side’s march to their fourth straight first class title.
Crandon said not only was Paul’s bowling an asset but so too his all-round out cricket.
“This guy is a tremendous all-round cricketer. He can field – he’s very quick in the field, he can catch very well – even in slip or any position you put him in,” he explained.
“He’s very fit, he’s very intelligent as well – a very intelligent cricketer. I think he’s also very good on and off the field as well and he’s learning quickly.”
Paul’s batting has not gone unnoticed this season either. He plundered his maiden first class hundred – 107 off 129 balls – against Jamaica Scorpions in the opening match of the campaign at Providence.
But after finishing with only 260 runs, Crandon said more work needed to be done on that side of Paul’s game.
“He scored a hundred in his first game against Jamaica but unfortunately he didn’t have enough scores to back that hundred up. That’s something we’re going to work on during the off season.”
Paul will now turn his attention to the Regional Super50 starting next week after being included in the one-day side. – CMC