By Brandon Corlette
The year 2019 has been a breakthrough year for 16-year old Guyana Under-17 player, Matthew Nandu. From scoring five consecutive half-centuries with his Canadian based Cricket Club, Tranzac in Guyana early 2019, to sitting in the same dressing room with Chris Gayle and company in the Global T20 (GT20) Canada.
Nandu, the son of former Guyana leg-spinner, Arjune Nandu has followed his dreams of playing cricket at a high level. Upon Nadu’s visit to Guyana, his outstanding performances earned him selection for the Demerara Under-17 team and the Guyana Under-17 team that toured Trinidad and Tobago for the Cricket West Indies Rising Stars Under-17 tournament.
Born on June 9, 2003, the left-handed batsman who bowls leg-spin has a high score of 150 not out in the Sir Garfield Sobers International Schools tournament. The Canadian born player has a best bowling figure of 7-4 against Brampton Juniors. After his successes at the junior level, he then turned out for the Gayle-led Vancouver Knights in the second edition of the GT20 in Canada.
Nandu did not play a match but he earned invaluable experiences from all these big names in cricket. “The experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I really did enjoy getting pointers and tips from the international players. I got a chance to see how much hard work and time they put in to get where they are”, Nandu disclosed.
It is certainly a special feeling to be endorsed by the Universe Boss, Gayle. Nandu disclosed that Gayle is very easy going, very funny, and very humble. “He made me feel a-part of the Vancouver Knight family despite the fact that I was the youngest player in the squad. Being the youngest, I was unsure on how I was going to fit in but as a captain, he made me feel welcomed”, Nandu explained. He further added that Gayle was always open to answer any of my questions, and very easy to talk to. “When it was time to say goodbye his last words were “to keep working.”
The Vancouver Knights were the first time champs of the tournament and runner up team in the second edition. Speaking about the start studded players in the team Nandu had this to say: “despite there international status, they were very helpful in answering any questions I had, very humble and down to earth people. Teammates like Gayle, Guyana Amazon Warriors captain, Shoaib Malik, Ali Khan, Chadwick Walton and Rassie Van der Dussen (just to name a few) were very open to any questions I needed answers to.”
The youngster who has a long way to go highlighted that T20 cricket is amazing and is definitely growing in Canada. Nandu is delighted for the amazing opportunity with the Vancouver Knights for giving him this wonderful experience.