back icon


Guyana's fate could rely on their fast-bowling all-rounders

Last updated on 14 Aug 2023 | 01:14 PM
Google News IconFollow Us
Guyana's fate could rely on their fast-bowling all-rounders

Arguably the unluckiest team in CPL history, the Amazon Warriors have built a reputation of stuttering close to the finish line

2018 - Finalists

2019 - Finalists 

2020 - 2nd (playoffs)

2021 - 2nd (playoffs)

2022 - 2nd (playoffs)

Arguably the unluckiest team in Caribbean Premier League (CPL) history, Guyana Amazon Warriors have built a reputation of stuttering close to the finish line. No team in the competition has made as many finals as the Warriors (five, one more than four-time champions Trinbago Knight Riders), and they will enter the 2023 season having made two finals and three playoffs in their last five CPL campaigns. 

Last year, they lost both Qualifier 1 and Qualifier 2, by hefty margins of 87 and 37 runs. Fair to say, they have let themselves down despite being one of the more consistent sides in the competition. Can they cross those extra miles this year? 

Changes made

There are some significant changes in the Warriors’ outfit this season. They have lost plenty of their overseas signings from the 2022 season. Colin Ingram, Heinrich Klaasen, Shakib Al Hasan, Paul Stirling and Tabraiz Shamsi are some of the exclusions. Given Klaasen’s form this year, he will be the biggest miss for the Warriors. 

In comes Azam Khan and Saim Ayub from Pakistan. Dwaine Pretorius will don the Warriors’ colors for the first time. In the domestic contingent, Jermaine Blackwood has moved back to Jamaica and Veeraswamy Permaul isn’t a part of the season. 

Players Availability

The Afghan wicketkeeper-batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz won’t be available for some part of the season. Mohammad Harris, a like-for-like replacement player, will fill in for Gurbaz. 


> Despite losing Brandon King and Nicholas Pooran (prior to the 2022 season), the Warriors have ensured they don’t lose their batting firepower. Azam Khan is the most high-profile inclusion in their batting line-up with a career strike-rate in excess of 140 against both pace and spin. Their batting line-up, including Shimron Hetmyer, is full of such stroke makers. However, it can go both boom and bust. 

> The seam-bowling all-rounders will be at the helm for the Warriors. They can play as many as four of them - Keemo Paul, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith and Pretorius. Their presence also extends the batting depth to number nine. Not to forget, Gudakesh Motie can also be a handy contributor with the bat. 


> Guyana are a bit light in the spin bowling department. In three of the last four seasons, they have bowled the most overs of spin. Last year, they had the whole buffet of spinners - left-arm spinners in Motie and Chandrapaul Hemraj, an off-spin bowling option in Paul Stirling, a leg-spinner in Imran Tahir, and a left-arm wrist-spinner in Tabraiz Shamsi. 

That lot has considerably shrunk, with Stirling and Shamsi not with the side anymore. Stirling was a great liberty as a first-choice opener who could deliver a few handy overs of off-spin. Now, the only off-spinner in the squad is Kevin and Junior Sinclair. None of them have played more than 15 T20s in their career as yet. 

If the pitches are slow yet again this CPL, then the Warriors will miss some of their key spinners from yesteryears. 

> Yes, the Warriors have power hitters and they bat deep but are down on the number of specialist batters. Post Hetmyer at five (in our probable first-choice XI for the Warriors), the batting dips down to the seam-bowling all-rounders - Pretorius and others. While all of them are quite handy batters, they are also more of bowling all-rounders. Other teams will have a more established batting force at number six and seven while the Warriors will be tasked to squeeze the best out of their top five. 

Players to watch out for

Dwaine Pretorius is a strategic signing for the Warriors. At 10.3, their pace attack conceded at least more than one run per over extra than any other team in the competition. Shepherd, Paul and Smith, all had underwhelming seasons. The management has kept the trio intact but has added Pretorius, a cricketer in a similar role but with a lot more experience. 

As stated above, Guyana’s batting carries a mercurial look. Shai Hope is the only batter with a systematic approach. He will occupy one end, allowing the others to flourish in their natural game. Also, the Windies’ ODI captain, Hope has a point to prove regarding his T20 credentials. 

The right-hander has played only 73 T20s since his debut in 2012 and averages 22.7 at a strike-rate of 121.8. He showed some signs of improvement last season, scoring a 30-ball 59* and a 45-ball 60. Can he take his T20 game a step higher? 

Probable First Choice XI

Chandrapaul Hemraj will continue to open for Guyana with one of Mohammad Harris and Shai Hope as his opening partner. Pretorius, Paul, Shepherd and Smith will occupy the lower middle-order (number six to number nine). Imran Tahir will lead the spin attack. One among the left-arm spinner Motie and the off-spinner will get the nod based on the opposition line-up. A right-handed heavy line-up in the opponent’s camp will make Motie an automatic selection. 

Chandrapaul Hemraj, Shai Hope, Mohammad Harris, Azam Khan (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Dwaine Pretorius, Keemo Paul, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Gudakesh Motie/Kevin Sinclair, Imran Tahir.

First match

Guyana Amazon Warriors will begin their campaign in the fourth match of the season, facing St. Lucia Kings on August 20, 4.30 am IST.

Related Article