There were nights of patriotism and nationalism by cricketing fans at the stadium last Thursday and Wednesday. Jingoism was observed at Guyana’s cricket matches against opponents on both evenings at the Providence stadium never before seen sports events in the country. This is the first time since 2019 that Guyana has staged so many games in CPL, and fans did not disappoint. They came out in their numbers to support the warriors, decked in jerseys of patriotic colors of the team. While they supported their own team, they did not abuse opponents.
Roaring fans were on their feet clapping, cheering, shouting, waving Guyana flag or team emblems and other paraphernalia s Amazon Warriors batsman hit a four or a six or a made a shot that scored runs. Ditto a wicket taken. The reaction to local team performance is in sharp contrast when West Indies played at Bourda or the stadium against India or Pakistan during the 1960s thru 2020s. Many Guyanese supported Pakistan and India and even Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Almost everyone supported Guyana this time around.
Indian tassa, African drums, and loud cheers drowned out announcements or conversations at the stadium. Fas wined and danced. Some boozed. Many snacked on varied food items. Drones flew above focusing on fans and on special plays.
Guyana won both matches and has the momentum going into its final two games. Thursday night victory was one of the highest chases in the competition. The previous night the team also played well defending a relatively low score. Fans were on the edge of their seats in both matches, fearing a defeat. They were able to pull of wins when the matches were swinging away from Guyana.
The Warriors have a well-rounded team; they have everything from world class bowlers and batters, to top fielders and all-rounders. The lower order stepped up when the top of the order failed in the first match on Wednesday. The team’s captain Hetmyer disappointed fans with his batting; fans complained about his performance. They also complained about some fast bowlers bowling long hops which were rightly put away for deserving sixes..
Patriotism surged during this period because Guyana had been against the wall facing the specter of being knocked out from playoffs contention that begins next week. Guyana had been struggling in the matches played away winning only one of five played. One match was rained out.
Of the six team in the CPL franchises, two will get knock out in the preliminary rounds. Each team was entitled to ten matches. Most teams completed between eight and nine matches. Their final games are either on Saturday evening or Sunday when two matches will be played. Guyana ‘s final two matches were slated for Saturday and Sunday evenings. If Guyana were to win on Saturday evening against Trinidad, it will move into the playoffs. If it were to lose Saturday and again on Sunday, it is out. If it were to lose Saturday and win Sunday, then it will depend on how well two other tames fared depending on run rate.
Guyanese of all ethnicities or national groups supported their team, unlike never before seen. They were all together on the issue that Guyana must win and were there to see their team victorious. It is difficult to say how long this kind of faux will last. It would be nice if the diverse people of the nation were to carry this kind of ethnic unity in their politics or support for political parties.