Annual Guyana Festival in Toronto
Guyana, Canada XIs clash Sunday
By Ron Fanfair
Guyana Chronicle
May 16, 2003

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IT started out as a Golden Oldies festival, honouring former Guyana players, some of whom went on to represent the West Indies with distinction.

Clive Lloyd, the most successful West Indies captain ever, Joe Solomon who effected the run-out in the first ever tied Test at the Gabba ground in 1961, the late Roy Fredericks, 1970 Wisden Cricketer-of-the-Year, Basil Butcher, Faoud Bacchus, Lance Gibbs and Len Baichan all participated in the Western Union-sponsored festival over the past five years.

In some cases, the Oldies showcased the skills that made them household names around the world while others - who could not take the field - were content to share some of the game's special moments that they were part of while consuming their favourite beverage.

This year, the organisers of the annual Guyana Festival have turned almost exclusively to younger players to take on a Canadian XI on May 18 at L'Amoreaux Community Centre ground.

Former West Indies off-spinner Clyde Butts, the chairman of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) junior selection panel, is the manager/coach of a Guyana team made up mostly of members of the national side that took part in the 2003 Carib Beer Trophy regional series.

"I think it's time to try something different," said Guyana's Honorary Consul General Danny Doobay, one of the festival's principal organisers. "It's the first time we have assembled a team of mainly current Guyana players to participate in the match. The team will excite fans."

Disposed West Indies leg-spinner Mahendra Nagamootoo and his younger brother Vishal, who spent a weekend in Toronto last summer, along with all-rounder Narsingh Deonarine who played in the Independence Festival match here two years ago, will spearhead the strong Guyana attack.

A gifted all-rounder Deonarine hit an unbeaten 141 for the Carib Beer XI against the Australian tourists last month.

Openers, Sewnarine Chattergoon and Azeemul Haniff, who represent Vikings in the Toronto & District Cricket Association (TDCA) premier league, are also in the line-up. Haniff and Chattergoon established a new Guyana first wicket record last year, putting on 340 in the first innings of Guyana's contest with Bangladesh at Bourda. Haniff made 236 while Chattergoon contributed 143.

Bacchus, who scored 250 in a Test match in India and has the unique distinction of representing Guyana, the West Indies, Canada and the USA, will lead the Canadian XI that includes three members of the national side that recently competed in the World Cup in South Africa.

The World Cup participants in the line-up are medium-pacer Austin Codrington, who took five wickets in Canada's historic win over Bangladesh, middle-order batsman Desmond Chumney and veteran pacer Davis Joseph.

"We would like to have the best Canadian team oppose the touring Guyana side," added Doobay. "In addition, we want to open up the match to the broader community."

Ex-Canadian batsman Paul Prashad, an elegant stroke-player who has represented Canada at the Under-25 and senior national levels, has been invited to play in the game which starts at noon.

The teams are:
Guyana's X1: Narsingh Deonarine, Azeemul Haniff, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Lennox Cush, Asad Fudadin, Vishal Nagamootoo, Mahendra Nagamootoo, Hemnarian Harrinarian, Naresh Roopnarine, Esuan Crandon, Rayon Thomas and Clyde Butts (manager/coach).

Canada's XI: Faoud Bacchus, Rovendra Mandolall, Paul Prashad, Arjune Nandu, Sunil Dhaniram, Shivnauth Seeram, Abdool Samad, Davis Joseph, Desmond Chumney, Austin Codrington, Surendra Seeraj, Jonathan Roberts and Ryan Lall.

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