IPL a dream come true, Test cricket is still in sight
– Rutherford reflects on his dreamy 2018
By Brandon Corlette
The man of the moment, the Delhi Capitals selectee, Guyana’s very own Sherfane Rutherford described his 2018 as a great year.
In his exclusive interview with Guyana Times Sport, Rutherford thanked God for a successful 2018, and said he was looking ahead for a brighter 2019.
“Being selected for the Indian Premier League (IPL) is a dream come true, but playing Test cricket has always been my dream,” Rutherford related. If the opportunity is presented in the near future to the talented left-handed batsman, he will play Test cricket for the West Indies.
Born on August 15, 1998, Sherfane Eviston Rutherford has continuously received
support from his inspirational parents. The Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) player, in his blooming career, is thankful for his coaches— Guyana Jaguars Head Coach Esuan Crandon and Assistant Coach/Manager Rayon Griffith. “My club coach, Garvin Nedd has also played a role in my successful journey,” Rutherford told this reporter.
Rutherford made his international debut for the West Indies T20 international team on December 22, 2018 against Bangladesh, where his Guyanese teammate, Keemo Paul produced a record-breaking bowling spell.
The year 2018 has been a memorable year; Rutherford was presented with the opportunity to represent West Indies B team in the inaugural Global T20 tournament played June-July 2018 in Canada. In the much-anticipated tournament that featured the biggest superstars around the globe, Rutherford finished as the third highest run scorer. The 20-year-old in his nine innings accumulated 230 runs at a healthy average of 32.85, including a breath-taking 134*.
Rutherford’s development continued in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) representing the ever-consistent Guyana Amazon Warriors team. With adequate
opportunity given in the CPL – Rutherford played eight matches and batted seven innings – scoring 171 runs at an average of 34.20. He recalled his match-defining knock of 45 from 13 balls against arch rivals Trinbago Knight Riders that included six humongous sixes against the Dwayne Bravo-led team. The dynamic Rutherford made the headlines in that career-changing moment – “the Guyanese local hero”.
In addition to Rutherford’s explosive batting, he is more than a useful right-arm seam bowler, and he is recognised as a complete cricketer. Rutherford told this reporter that he was grateful for returning to the Guyana Jaguars 4-Day team. He will depart for Barbados on January 2, 2019 where he will be called upon to represent his team in the red-ball format against a dominant Barbados unit.
Many may define Rutherford as a white-ball specialist but his blooming First-Class career highlights his huge potential to represent West Indies in all three formats of the game. In his 10 First-class matches, Rutherford has a high score of 93 at an
average of 35.40, scoring 354 runs. Meanwhile, his bowling record is inspirational, with 23 wickets in a short span, including a bowling average of 24.39. Rutherford, who made his First-Class debut in April 2015 against the Windward Islands, has one five-wicket haul beneath his belt and a best match haul in First-Class cricket being 8-82.
Rutherford, who is poised with power in his wrist-work batting, was at his usual best in the 2018 T10 League, representing Bengal Tigers. The tournament was the first of its kind and Rutherford highlighted that it was a great experience for him, to play his natural game. The powerful left-handed batsman played some exquisite short arm jabs, hitting the likes of Rashid Khan with ease and grace. In his eight matches played in the T10 league that was played in Sharjah, he accumulated 195 runs at an average of 24.4 at an excessive batting strike rate of 200.
He may not have played for West Indies under 19, but having represented Guyana at the Under-19 level with Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul, the trio are on their way to achieve greatness and establish themselves as the future of West Indies cricket. Rutherford, who emphasised on the importance of playing Test cricket during the interview, may be a batsman like David Warner, who began as a T20 specialist and is currently a top-ranked Test batsman.
Test cricket is the most important asset of the gentleman’s game; it tests a player’s fitness and ability to concentrate over a long period of time, playing the Regional 4-Day tournament for the Guyana Jaguars will develop Rutherford into a complete player. The year 2019 “I am looking forward for to be better than 2018”, Rutherford concluded.