The 67-year-old Lloyd who led the West Indies during the glory days of the 1980s and averaged 46.67 with 19 centuries from 110 Tests, commended the WICB for not only honoring him but other former West Indies players Richie Richardson, Jeffery Dujon, Courtly Ambrose, ‘Gus Logie and Collis King whose names will be affixed to the tournament’s five individual awards.
“It should be exciting! I am looking forward to seeing Chris Gayle and (Lendl) Simmons opening while I have seen a few talented young players who can help to take West Indies cricket forward even if it takes some time to do so. I hope this (Super50) can be the start of great things as we aim to get back to the days West Indies fans were accustomed to,” the powerful left-hander said.
he Windwards at the Guyana National Stadium from 09:00hrs in one of two matches scheduled for today.
In Jamaica last year three pacers were among four bowlers who collected five-wicket hauls while Darren Bravo’s 104 for Trinidad and Tobago against CCC was the only century although Floyd Reifer made 99 in that match.
Davendra Bishoo (6-36 against Barbados at Sabina Park) was the lone spinner in the five-wicket haul club as Jamaican Andre Russell (6-45 against Barbados), Bajan Tino Best (5-24 against Guyana) and Leeward Islands’ Lionel Baker (5-33 against Barbados) ensured that every five-wicket haul was achieved against Barbados who had a sensational tie against the Leewards in the final.
The competition returns to a country which produced the first ever Tie when Guyana played the Windwards at Albion in 1993 although the rules back then allowed the Windwards to win by virtue of losing fewer wickets.
Despite the presence of ICC’s Pitch Consultant Andy Atkinson in Guyana during the weeks preceding the competition the South American tracks are still expected to be slow and favor spinners giving teams like Guyana, HPC, the Windwards and T&T, who beat Guyana in the final when the tournament was last played here in 2009, an advantage.
The Windwards are the least successful of the traditional six Regional teams involved with just two titles; in 1989 when they beat Guyana in the final in Grenada and in 2000 when they got past the Leewards in the final in Jamaica.
They begin their campaign against the Guyanese without regular Skipper Daren Sammy and off-spinner Shane Shillingford who are in Bangladesh with the West Indies team and will be led by West Indies batsman Devon Smith.
Two of six St Lucians in the side (left arm spinner Gary Mathurin and Johnson Charles) are the only St. Lucians apart from Sammy to represent the West Indies senior team and Mathurin who made an auspicious debut against England last month with 3-9, should enjoy the conditions here.
Talented St. Lucian off-spinner Dalton Polius who played a single game at this level for the West Indies Under-19s against the Leewards at Providence two years ago, could make his Windwards one-day debut in the absence of Shillingford.
Dominican all-rounder Liam Sebastian, who took 5-38 when these two teams last met at this level in 2008 at Blairmount and left-arm spinner Denis George, should also relish the Guyanese pitches.
Kenroy Peters and Nelon Pascal should share the new ball for the Islanders while Smith, Andre Fletcher, Charles, Keddy Lesporis, Hyron Shallow, Craig Emmanuel and Sebastian will all want to contribute with the bat at a venue where eight of the 16 totals over 250 in List A games have been in Regional 50-over matches.
The Guyanese have three seamers in lively West Indies Under-19 pacer Ronsford Beaton, Paul Wintz and Chris Barnwell while Skipper Assad Fudadin can also bowl medium pace.
But it would not be surprising if Steven Jacobs opens the bowling to exploit Smith’s discomfort against off-spin.
In a team in which batsmen Royston Crandon, Leon Johnson and Sewnarine Chattergoon can bowl decent spin, West Indies Under-19 leg-spinner Amir Khan and ex-West Indies Under-15 off-spinner Steven Latcha could have to wait a bit longer for debuts at this level.
On the spin-friendly pitches, Guyana will miss the services of Bishoo who is in Bangladesh and left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul, who like Test pacer Brandon Bess and exciting opener Rajendra Chandrika, are representing the HPC combination.
Even without the injured Sarwan, the Guyana batting looks good on paper with Vice-Captain Johnson looking back to top form and former West Indies Under-19 opener Trevon Griffith expected to be one of the players to watch.
Griffith could open with either Chattergoon or Fudadin while Crandon, Jacobs the experienced Travis Dowlin, Jonathon Foo, Barnwell and West Indies T20 Keeper Derwin Christian are all aggressive batsmen in the middle order for Guyana which has won the title nine times, the last time in winners row being 2005 when Sarwan scored a record 462 runs including three centuries and Chattergoon got a ton in the final at Bourda.
The last time Guyana faced the Windwards at this level they lost by three wickets despite half-centuries from Dowlin and Crandon as Sebastien got support from Pascal (4-33).
Chasing Guyana’s 170 all out in 26.2 overs, the Islanders led by 63 from Smith, reached 174-7 in 26.4 overs as Permaul and Jacobs had two wickets each.