By Brandon Corlette
Possessing the powerful physique of a modern-day fast bowler, Tucber Park lad Romario Shepherd is revelling at his second-time selection to the Guyana Amazon Warriors (GAW) team.
One of five Berbicians and eight Guyanese selected for the home franchise, Shepherd took the time to speak to this publication in an exclusive interview.
“It’s obviously a great feeling for me to earn selection for a second successive year for the GAW, and this is a confidence- booster for me”, Shepherd told this reporter.
The 24-year-old all-round player added, “It is early days, but looking into the future, with any opportunity given in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), I will bowl my best”.
Shepherd made his debut appearance in the 2018 edition of the CPL playing against Trinbago Knight Riders, participating in three matches in the latter part of the tournament. He has been one of Guyana’s rising talents, and has had a great 4-Day tournament playing for the Jaguars in the 2018-19 season.
Having played only 21 matches in his First-Class career, Shepherd has already grabbed 67 wickets, including two five-wicket hauls, since making his debut against Jamaica in 2017. His recent 4-Day season with the Guyana Jaguars was certainly his breakthrough season, with him finishing as the best fast bowler in the entire tournament, having taken 37 wickets while playing in all 10 matches, and scoring 315 runs with the bat, including two half-centuries. His performance is ample testimony to his level of fitness and development of his game overtime.
The confident Berbician told this reporter that, in the T20 format, his aim is to pick up wickets for his team, and bowl at a healthy economy rate. The 2019 edition of the CPL is slated for September, and Shepherd is currently in preparation mode.
A tournament as eminent as the CPL will feature all the big names around the globe, and it calls for mental toughness. Shepherd is focused on the positives.
Having placed himself on the radar for a call-up to the West Indies ‘A’ and West Indies senior teams with his Regional performances in recent times, Shepherd will use the CPL as another stepping stone in his quest to play International cricket.
He started his cricket career as a batsman, although he is now a celebrated bowler; and he has not lost his batting skill although he focuses more on his bowling. The right-hander has three First-class half-centuries, and possesses a peculiar ability to clear the ropes with great ease.
His ‘List A’ career has also been promising, with this New Amsterdam lad being an active member of the Cricket Guyana Inc. Academy. He has taken 24 wickets in his 18 ‘List A’ matches.
Romario Shepherd has the ability to zip the new ball and seam it around, but in the white ball game he has the ability to bowl those deadly Yorkers. Shepherd has a best bowling figure of 3-29 on his debut in CPL against the powerhouse Trinbago Knight Riders team, the defending champions.
In his debut match, he picked up the prize scalps of Colin Munro, Brendon Mc Cullum and Darren Bravo. The confident Shepherd will be reminiscing on his debut for the GAW, and is eager to make an even greater impact the second time around.