“I always had it in my head that I will get back in the team,” says Veerasammy Permaul

By Brandon Corlette

It is not the return of the prodigal son, but it is the highly-anticipated return of Mr Consistent, Veerasammy Permaul, the man known as Gunnaz, who hails from the cricket crazy community of Albion on the Corentyne Coast in East Berbice and has earned selection to the West Indies team that will play two Test matches in Bangladesh.

A proud moment! Permaul receiving his Test cap from Sir Richie Richardson

“Never give up! Great things take time.” That had been Permaul’s motto since he last played a Test match for the West Indies in June 2015. The humble left-arm spinner, who consistently showed his dominance for Guyana Jaguars at the Regional level, has said he is grateful for another opportunity in the Test side.
Permaul told this publication that, over the years, he proved his skill at the Regional level, and this call-up is a deserving one.

Veerasammy Permaul

When a West Indies squad is selected and Permaul is not given an opportunity, just imagine the pain he feels after registering strong performances in Regional 4-Day cricket. It’s easy to look like a star when times are good, but when times are tough, your true character comes into full view. Permaul has displayed great character for the past five years in his inspirational journey, and has finally been rewarded.
Questioned about his experience when he is left out of a Test squad, Permaul said: “I always had it in my head that at some point in time I will get back in the West Indies team. I think performance over the years showed that I should have been in the team, but it’s beyond my control. I just use this as an opportunity to say when God wants me back in the team, it will be; and it’s finally here.”

Permaul appealing in a Regional 4-Day encounter against Trinidad and Tobago

Back in 2012, Permaul made his Test debut in Bangladesh. He disclosed that he would use his previous experience in Bangladesh, in what he described as conditions similar to those in Guyana.
“Most likely, the pitches there (in Bangladesh) would suit my kind of bowling. I have been dominating Regional cricket, and hopefully I can use the same knowledge and make that transition into Test cricket,” Permaul explained.
Permaul said that, over the years, he has been improving on his game. He added that he gained more experience playing first-class cricket, wherein he made the necessary changes to his bowling.
“I did a little bit of changes in my bowling. I used to bowl through and around, now I bowl straight, and that gets me to bowl more consistent line and lengths, and that allows me to get my body towards the target. That really played a part this year in the Regional 4-Day,” Permaul explained.
The 31-year-old has said he is not looking too far ahead. He explained that he is aiming to use this opportunity to tour Bangladesh to be at his optimum best.
“That Test series in Bangladesh is in front of me. I just want to go out and do all I can do, and put all on the field while utilising my opportunity to the best of my ability,” he said.

Permaul bowling in a Test match against Australia in 2015

Numbers don’t lie: Permaul’s unbeatable record is set out below:
In the 2014-15 season of the Regional 4-Day Tournament, Permaul took 67 wickets in ten matches. He continued to show his skill and consistency year after year. During the 2015-16 season, Permaul played eight matches and claimed 40 wickets. He then followed up that season with 41 wickets in the 2016-17 season, and 50 wickets in the 2017-18 season.
In the 2018-19 season, Permaul took 42 wickets; and in the 2019-20 season, back in March, Permaul took 50 wickets in only eight matches.
After his last Test back in 2015, Permaul played 55 first-class matches and took 290 wickets. He has a best bowling figure of 8 for 18; a best match haul figure of 15 for 77; and has taken 18 five-wicket hauls and seven 10-wicket hauls at an average of 16.90.
Permaul has played in 121 first-class matches, and has taken 536 wickets. He has a best bowling figure of 8-18 at 20.65, with 29 five-wicket hauls. Permaul has played six Test matches for the West Indies, and the place in which he made his Test debut will see him making a grand Test return.