With the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) franchises finalising their retained and signed players, local franchise, the Guyana Amazon Warriors (GAW) have six players already enlisted for the 2022 season.
The teams were given two retention windows, the first to facilitate players who they wished to retain from the previous season and the second to sign players from other teams or those who have been with the team in the previous season.
As such, the Guyana Amazon Warriors have come up with explosive batsmen Shimron Hetmyer and Chandrapaul Hemraj, ominous all-rounder Romario Shepherd and Odean Smith for their retentions. Gudakesh Motie, who debuted for the Warriors in 2021, was signed again, while the GAW franchise took the opportunity to welcome Keemo Paul back home.
Paul spent the 2021 season with the St Lucia Kings.
Giving insight into the Warriors’ retentions was Lead Coach Rayon Griffith, who broke down exclusively with Guyana Times Sport, the redeeming qualities of each player which led to them being retained by the franchise. When quizzed about any intentions to bring more Guyanese cricketers on board, Griffith admitted that was the plan.
About Hetmyer, the Coach said, “Hetmyer, who is always a face of Guyana cricket, didn’t have that bright of a tournament, but he’s from Guyana and you definitely want to give your local players opportunity as well.”
Moving on to Hemraj, his century last year left a mark on the Coach’s memory.
“Hemraj, who scored a century, I mean he’s still growing, he’s still learning his craft, but I believe he could bring something to the table this year. He has been there about three years now and we are expecting good stuff from Hemraj this season,” Griffith related.
Shepherd and Smith, who play similar roles were looked at collectively by the Coach, who said, “Last year CPL, Shepherd and Odean definitely played well. I thought they bowled well; they actually got 18 wickets each in the tournament, and they bat well. I think they came down well at the lower order and they played some good innings for us.
On the topic of Motie, the Coach shared, “He definitely didn’t have the start of the tournament last year. He came in, played a couple of games, played some important roles, picked up wickets at crucial time, and actually he had a good economy rate which was under seven runs, so, we believe that he has a role as well. Gudakesh Motie will definitely be an asset to our line-up.”
Finally, the Coach looked at Paul, who spend a single year away from the Warriors camp in 2021, noting that he was elated to have him back.
“Keemo is always a brilliant cricketer, a cricketer that people love to watch playing. A good all-rounder, I think his all-round skill brings value to our setup. So, it is good to see that Keemo is back in our set-up.”
With six payers thus far, the Guyana Amazon Warriors have a long way to go to fill their team ahead of the 10th Hero CPL season. Asked about what the remainder of the team will look like, the Lead Coach explained that there was room for more Guyanese players.
“We will do our best to put the best team out there. Those players from Guyana that can fill those roles and play certain roles for the team, so that the team could mesh, because we do want a strong team as well,” Griffith stated.
He went on to add, “We do have some players in Guyana which we’ll be looking at.”
The Hero CPL is scheduled for August 30 to September 30, with the final being played in Guyana. In addition, Guyana’s National Stadium, Providence will host seven group matches and three knockout matches during this year’s CPL season.