He also holds the Regional record for most tons in a single tournament when he registered three magnificent hundreds when Guyana last won the title in 2005. He scored and unbeaten 106 against the host team and 113 against the Leeward Islands in the preliminary round in Barbados before making 113 in the semis at Bourda against the Leewards.
The 33-year-old, who averages 42.67 from 181 ODIs and 40.01 from 87 Tests, was unavailable for last Tuesday’s first Day/Night practice game at the Stadium but is set to play today in the final practice game at Providence from 13:30 hrs.
The Guyana team, one of the strongest to leave these shores, is scheduled the wing out for Trinidad next Tuesday and most likely will bat first today since they bowled first in the last game and should want to give their bowlers the opportunity of operating under lights and in conditions which should produce due on the outfield.
Their batting, according to Skipper Christopher Barnwell, is their strength with seven of the top order possessing West Indies experience in Shiv Chanderpaul, Assad Fudadin, Leon Johnson, Sarwan, Narsingh Deonarine, Royston Crandon and the Skipper, who has played six T20 matches for the Caribbean side.
However, there must be serious concerns regarding the scoring rate and the injudicious shot selection from most of the big-hitters. Fudadin and Chanderpaul should be the glue which holds the innings together with the pugnacious Barnwell hoping for another productive regional season to propel him to a West Indies ODI selection.
Crandon, who has played a solitary ODI, will know that at age 30 prospects of a West Indies recall is getting increasingly slim unless he produces an outstanding performance this year. Like Sarwan he should be keen to resurrect his career in Maroon colors.
Deonarine is among the team’s most entertaining batsmen and his unbeaten 102 against Barbados at Albion in 2009 was hailed as one of the best tons at this level by those who saw it.
But not short of opportunities the patience of his fans is growing thin with the elegant left-hander not matching his tremendous talent with consistence scores. Between 2005 and this year in New Zealand, the Berbician has only played 29 ODIs with just four fifties to show for it.
At 26, Johnson, who made his first Class debut a decade ago, has played three ODIs but none since 2008. He too will be looking forward to an outstanding tournament since time is running out on him to stamp his authority at this level and fulfill the promise he exhibited as a youth player when some even compared his fluent stroke play to the great Brian Lara.
The 27-year-old Barnwell is the best All-Rounder in the Region yet to play an ODI but with ILP experience already under his belt his chance should come sooner rather than later. His aggressive batting could again rescue his team from slow starts in this competition while his medium pace gives the selectors options.
The other batsmen in the team are both young openers in Trevon Griffith and Robin Bacchus, the only player without any experience at this level. They are both shot makers but with Chanderpaul in the side one or both of them could find themselves on the Guyana bench especially since Wicket Keeper Anthony Bramble could also play the role of make-shift opener.
Test spinners Devendra Bishoo and Veerasammy Permaul could also bat while fast bowler Paul Wintz was good enough to have scored a First-Class fifty at the Queens Park Oval this year.
West Indies ‘A’ team pacer Ronsford Beaton is genuinely quick and spearheads the Guyana attack while Fudadin could also provide back-up seam bowling to Beaton and Barnwell and Wintz if he make the final eleven.
Deonarine could play the role of a Steven Jacobs and produce spin support to Bishoo and Permaul. Guyana play their opening game against 2015 World Cup qualifiers Ireland on January 31 before facing defending champions Windward Islands on February 4 and Eight-times champions Jamaica on February 8 in the tougher of the two groups.
The host team, Barbados, Leeward Islands and CCC comprise group B. The South Americans, who play all of their matches under lights at the Queens Park Oval, are hunting their 10th title at this level.
The Guyana team is being coached by Esaun Crandon and Managed by Alvin Johnson and the full team reads: Christopher Barnwell (Capt.), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (Vice-Capt.), Robin Bacchus, Ronsford Beaton, Devendra Bishoo, Anthony Bramble (wk), Royston Crandon, Narsingh Deonarine, Assad Fudadin, Trevon Griffith, Leon Johnson, Veerasammy Permaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Paul Wintz.