From Young Warriors to the cusp of USA debut: The Gajanand Singh journey
By Brandon Corlette
Former senior Guyana batsman Gajanand Singh is among the list of 44 players who were selected to train in the United States of America (USA) camp later this month.
The 33-year-old who represented Guyana Amazon Warriors (GAW) in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) back in 2017 reflected on his journey from Guyana to being on the cusp of representing the USA.
Singh left Guyana for the USA back in 2013, but after an invitation to play cricket, he returned to his homeland in 2015 to play the Cricket Guyana Inc (CGI) one-day franchise league, where he played for the Lower Corentyne team.
After ordinary performances locally, Singh was set to return to the USA, but then in 2016, he was invited by Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) to play a tournament in Trinidad, where he scored heavily, amassing 300 runs in the six matches. His exploits in that tournament landed him a CPL contract in 2017. He was selected to represent GAW in the CPL.
After playing 11 matches for the Warriors and scoring 151 runs, including valuable knocks of 35* and 39, Singh booked his ticket to return to New York, but he was asked by the chairman of selectors and Coach of the Guyana Jaguars to stay in Guyana to prepare for the Regional Super50 tournament.
“When I got home, there was rain and training was indoors. I was given a message that (Shimron) Hetmyer was leaving for Zimbabwe or to play the World Cup Qualifiers and I would replace him. I was still there then after Hetmyer left, I got to understand that Tagenarine Chanderpaul replaced him and I didn’t receive the call,” Singh said in a recent Sean Devers Sports Watch.
During his childhood days in Guyana, Singh, a former West Indies U-19 player, lived across the street from the Young Warriors Cricket Club and his father was the manager of the club. From that moment, he never looked back.
Comparing the local cricketing club structures in Guyana and Trinidad, Singh said the club structure in Trinidad is more organised. “They have a set system in place. It’s not like a Berbice Cricket Board tournament that plays this weekend and on Thursday and Friday you have to call the Board and know where you are playing next weekend,” Singh said.
He further added that the local teams in Trinidad carry themselves like an inter-county or a Guyana national team. “It’s really good to play in a professional system like that and it’s good for young Guyanese to get that experience as well,” Singh added.
The left-hander who scored two half-centuries in the 10 First-Class matches he played said he was focused on getting to the USA camp and if he got, selected he would be aiming to win games for the USA. “Most of the guys out of the 44 I know a lot of them and played with,” he noted.
Like a host of Guyanese who have left their homeland, Singh has shown supreme quality while playing in the USA. He will be hoping that he finally gets an opportunity to represent USA to play that series against Oman in March.