GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Head coach Esuan Crandon has pointed to a high level of strategic planning and preparation as the key to Guyana Jaguars’ fourth straight Regional four-day title.
Jaguars won the 2017/18 first class title with two games to spare when they beat Jamaica Scorpions by two wickets at Sabina Park in the eighth round, but were formally crowned champions on Sunday when the tournament wrapped up on the last day of the 10th round.
Significantly, the Leon Johnson-led side played unbeaten throughout to end on 166.8 points, well clear of perennial challengers Barbados Pride on 114.4.
“[There’s been] good organisational planning – we have planned well, we have prepared well – and we have had very quality resources in place for the players,” Crandon said here following Jaguars’ resounding innings and 81-run victory over Trinidad and Tobago Red Force.
“We’ve had good programmes in place and we’ve organised our yearly off-season really well by [putting them into different phases] where we dealt with different aspects of the game.”
He added: “It was nice to finish it with two games to go. That’s a tremendous achievement. It wasn’t an easy task; we made it look easy but it wasn’t an easy task. We worked hard, we prepared well, we kept the guys focussed and we tried to keep them very confident well.
“Our planning for each game, each opposition was very good and we executed our plans well.
“Obviously there are things we didn’t do well in the season that we really want to rectify but the most important thing is that we have done most of the things well, and we were able to win cricket matches and we remained unbeaten for this season.”
Jaguars’ latest title triumph meant they have now swept every edition of the expanded professional league introduced by Cricket West Indies in 2014.
They lost a single game in the inaugural season en route to 148 points and went unbeaten the following season, accumulating 149 points.
Last season, the gathered their lowest points total with 134.8 and lost twice, as they edged out Pride for the third straight season.
Crandon said what was pleasing was that not only were Jaguars winning but the systems to develop players were also working.
“It (winning) means a lot for our cricket. When we’re winning, everyone is happy and that’s a very important thing,” he explained.
“Our goal is to win every tournament that we play and it’s going to help to draw more youngsters to cricket. We’re winning and more guys will want to be part of our setup.
“We have a very organised setup here in Guyana. We have some guys coming through [nicely] through our feeder system to the senior team [to supplement the team] when guys go off to West Indies duty and so on.”
Despite the success, Crandon said he had already targetted areas which required improvement.
“After this tournament, we’ll be taking a little break and the first thing we want to do is start doing some rehabilitation work on injuries and tackle some technical aspects where we work on some guys who are struggling technically.”
Leeward Islands Hurricanes, meanwhile, enjoyed their highest finish in four years when they copped third place with 94.8 points while Scorpions were fourth on 93.6 points.
Windward Islands Hurricanes, who lost four of their first five matches, enjoyed a strong finish to the tournament as they played unbeaten in their last five outings to finish fifth on 85.6 points.
There was huge disappointment for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, however, who finished last on 82.4 points.
Second in the standings at the half-way stage of the tournament, Red Force never won again, losing four of their last five to end with 82.4 points. – CMC