– Hetmyer tells of the vibes at Providence .‘There’s no place like home,’ is a saying that many recall from the fairytale ‘The Wizard of Oz’ but for thesensational Guyanese batsman Shimron Hetmyer, it is a testament of his love for plaing at the ProvidenceNational Stadium.Looking at the CPL schedule for season seven, the 22-year old left-hander has six chances to thrill his fellow Guyanese during the Amazon Warriors’ five home games and a play-off encounter. So far in the 2019 season, ‘Hetty’ as he is fondly called stood out in the Guyana Amazon Warrior’s match against the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots with an unbeaten 70 to lead the Warriors to their second victory at home. Aside from this, Hetmyer has been brilliant in the outfield holding on to some stunning catches and saving valuable runs.While winning on the road is equally as important, the victory is just a little bit sweeter when it is shared with his fellow Guyanese, who turn out in their thousands to support the local franchise.“That’s why we put every single bit of our energy to make sure when we’re playing at the Guyana National Stadium that we do everything in our power to win the game just for the Guyanese fans,” Hetmyer explained.But playing at home for Hetmyer is more than just familiar conditions and a familiar space; for the Berbice batsman, performing well at the National Stadium Providence, is something extremely special. Moreover, for the 2019 season of CPL, Hetmyer is elated about sharing those exceptional moments with his fellow countrymen. “Knowing that this year the bulk of the team is Guyanese as well so that’s also a good feeling to know that,” the 22 year old stated.The Life of the PartyWhile Hetmyer is known to light up the National Stadium Providence, the 22 year old batsman is also know to ignite fireworks in the dressing room, according to his teammates. As Captain Shoaib Malik tells it, there is never a dull moment with ‘Hetty’ around.“Having someone in your dressing room who’s constantly talking, joking and interacting with other players, you need someone who can give something to the dressing room or to the players,” Malik shared.Meanwhile, Chris Green enjoys the same view that the fans have of the promising Berbician talent; watching him dispatch the ball to all parts of the ground.“A lot of the guys look up to him, being how good he is. So he’s actually a leader in our group. What we saw last year, that hundred in Fort Lauderdale against Jamaica was amazing to watch and countless other times. It’s just his ability to hit the ball cleanly,” Green said.Having been around Hetmyer for years now, fellow Guyanese Sherfane Rutherford, believes that the jokes, wise cracks and overall good vibes that Shimron brings to the team is just a part of who he is.“It’s always good to be yourself, so I think that’s him and we accept him for what he is,” Rutherford noted.On the other hand, Hetmyer explains that his jovial personality is more about ensuring that his teammates are in the best spirits ahead of each game.“If you see someone that’s down you just try to pick them up as quickly as possible and just make sure that they know that the team is there for them as well,”Whether it is cheering a player up in the dressing room or giving the Guyanese fans something to cheer about while at the crease, Shimron Hetmyer reflects on his humble beginnings at times, noting that the beauty of it all can make him emotional.“From playing cricket in the streets to now playing international cricket, rubbing shoulders with some of the best players in the world, it’s something I sit and think about every now and again. And the more I think about it is like the warmer I feel, it gets a little bit emotional at times.”With all that is happening for Hetmyer in Guyana’s cricket, he may soon be called ‘Mr Cricket,’ an accolade that he deserves.
The PPP’s announcement that March of this year will mark the 100th birth anniversary of its founder Cheddi Jagan, brings home the reality that change in the order of the world is inevitable. It was the Greek philosopher Zeno, who remarked that no one can step into the same river twice, as it constantly flows, so does the “moving finger” of fate. Cheddi Jagan was born into tumultuous but momentous times and perhaps, without committing the fallacy of retrospective determinism, we may speculate he was inevitably shaped by those times.The son of parents who were both brought to Guyana by women who left India as single parents, he would have appreciated the aphorism of the man who would provide the ideology for his adult life: “men make their history, but not in circumstances of their making.” Jagan’s birth, one year after Indentureship from India had ended and in the year that the Great War (WWI) was to finally end, were in circumstances that had to have been very impactful.With no additional indentured labourers to undercut the bargaining power of those time-expired ones who chose to remain on the sugar plantations, the struggle for better living conditions was being launched in far-away Georgetown where Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow was organising stevedores and would form the British Guiana Labour Union (BGLU) the following year. The sugar barons, with the connivance of the local Colonial State and the British Government, would attempt to recruit new labour for sugar from both India and Africa. Though unsuccessful, this effort would unleash powerful sentiments that would be fanned into ethnic fears in the succeeding decades.It is said there are always silver linings behind dark clouds and for British Guiana the dark clouds of WWI provided at least two such linings. Firstly, it was competition for ships and manpower from India to the war-front in the Middle East more than anything else that led to the cessation of Indian Indentureship. Secondly, because of the German U-Boat threat to British ships in the Atlantic, rice shipments from Burma and India had to be curtailed and this gave a massive impetus to the fledgling Guyanese rice industry.With Berbice having one of the healthiest climes in the colony, even though irrigation was a challenge, the Ancient County fast developed into a major producer of paddy, and with new mills opening up, of rice also. Cattle had also provided an alternative source of employment away from the sugar plantations by 1918. Cheddi Jagan, then, would grow up when the times were certainly “a changin’”.His father had to have showed leadership skills to have become the “Head Driver” at Port Mourant Estate, and while he might not have acceded to the formal “junior staff” of the enterprise, would have been one of the most powerful individuals because of his access to the estate managers and his power to allocate field work. His de facto “middle class” status – at least to the workers in the fields – would have provided the perspective to enrol Cheddi Jagan at Queen’s College in far-away Georgetown, after the boy had completed primary school in Port Mourant.The father obviously saw a future beyond the sugar fields or factory for his firstborn, but being located in those fields for his entire life, the father would have imparted some knowledge of the exploitative relationships spawned by what Cheddi was to later dub, “Bitter Sugar”. Jagan, of course, was to launch his political career in the bosom of sugar and those workers were to form the backbone of his struggle for Guyana’s freedom.In this, the year of Cheddi Jagan’s birth centenary, it is, therefore, very ominous that the industry has been given such short shrift to have dismissed 5700 workers in a year, with no other source of employment in sight.It would seem that there might be a direct effort to belittle the great man’s legacy, by some who are conversant with Guyana’s history.