“New born” gives Barnwell renewed focus

By Akeem Greene

American humourist Erma Bombeck once said “Children make your life important” and according to national cricketer Christopher Barnwell, his January-born daughter Chelsea Dahlia Barnwell (named after his favourite football team Chelsea) has been an empowering factor to his current success for the Guyana Jaguars.
The 31 year-old has been given a new lease on his professional career and has taken with it with both hands producing a string of sterling performances in the on-going Cricket West Indies Super50 Cup in Antigua.
“Yea I think Chelsea played a major role; she is my new motivator and I have been working hard in the nets leading up to the tournament,” he relayed to Guyana Times Sport on Thursday.

Throughout the season, Barnwell has kept his shape while producing the power-hitting strokes

After being named replacement for Raymon Reifer who departed for Windies ‘A’ team duties against England Lions, in four matches the big-hitting all-rounder from the Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) has accumulated 159 runs (third most for the team) at an average of 53.00 and also took four wickets all of which came against United States where he had 4-35 in nine overs.
His career best and man-of-the match score of 89 from 93 balls against Leeward Hurricanes on Wednesday evening was inclusive of eight fours and two sixes. It showed signs the vintage Barnwell has wiped off the dust and his back to what many have become expectant of him producing.
Heading into the tournament, the flamboyant right-handed batsman was hot on form after scoring a blistering 101 to lead Georgetown into the finals of the local 50-over league and then scoring an aggressive 69 in final to add to his 48 in the lone warm-up match.
“I am a free-scoring player and I came to Antigua with pretty good form, so when I went out to bat I took my time and then I hit a few balls sweetly to the rope which gave me even more confidence,” he revealed.
Top-scoring with a gusty 36 in their three-wicket loss to Kent and sharing a 58-run partnership with club mate Sherfane Rutherford, he replicated a similar feat with Shimron Hetmyer for the five-wicket canter against the Hurricanes.
The duo shared 144-run stand for the fifth wicket but Hetmyer who is known more for his flare at was unusually sedate but according to Barnwell their aim to was make the partnership what it was, a matching winning one by stating “I was telling him let’s take the partnership as long as possible and just pick the right balls to hit.”
With Hetmyer, Devendra Bishoo departing after eight round for international duties and Keemo Paul reportedly joining the ‘A’ team, the cream of Jaguars’ in-form players will be out for the finals.
“I don’t think it would be added pressure, the replacement players are pretty good players and could give a good account of themselves; we just have to play smart cricket and don’t make too many mistakes.”
A dip in form in the previous seasons caused the out-of- favour former Windies limited over player to sit on the side lines and watch Jaguars win their fourth successive four-day title. For the player with close to 10 years First-Class experience, it was a tough pill to swallow.
“It was very tough sitting and watching the First-Class season. I came as a replacement [for the 50-over] so I know I have to perform to keep my place in the team.”
He added, “I just want to help my team to win the tournament and good performance will take care of the rest.”
Caption: In four matches the all-rounder has scored 159 runs at an average of 53.00 and taken four wickets