Player Profile - Sudesh Dhaniram
In the build-up to the Over-50s Cricket World Cup, we have been looking at players who are likely to have an important impact for their team at the tournament.
Our penultimate profile is of West Indian batsman Sudesh Dhaniram.
Even at the age of 53, Dhaniram is regarded as one of the better players in the New York area, where he now lives. He is a stylish, attacking batsman and bowls deceptively quick medium pace off a very short run-up. The video below shows him hitting out in the Eastern American Cricket Association league a few seasons ago.
Originally from Guyana, Dhaniram played 46 First-Class and 37 List-A matches for Berbice, Guyana, the USA, West Indies Board XI, West Indies Under-23s and Young West Indies between 1986 and 1997.
In just his second First-Class match he scored 102 against a Barbados attack led by Joel Garner, and he followed this in the next game with 131 against the Leeward Islands (featuring Winston Benjamin, Tony Merrick, Eldine Baptiste, et al.), which would ultimately be his highest First-Class score.
Dhaniram was picked for a Young West Indies side to tour Zimbabwe in 1989 alongside Brian Lara and Carl Hooper. In one match he scored 228 against a Young Zimbabwe side that included Craig Evans and Chris James, adding 174 with Hooper (who scored 100).
In 1992 Dhaniram scored 136 for Glamorgan (alongside New Zealand Over-50s captain Adrian Dale) against a Rest of the World XI that was led by Richie Richardson and included names like Gavaskar, Greenidge, Greatbatch and Manjrekar.
After moving to the United States in the mid-2000s, Dhaniram represented that country in the Americas Region League, playing against the likes of Canada and Bermuda. The Canadian sides he encountered often included his brother Sunil.
The West Indies line-up has not quite fired in its warm-up games so far - apart from Dhaniram, who has scored runs in almost every game. Therefore, he is looking like being the key wicket for opposing teams. Much will be expected of Dhaniram and former Canadian ODI player Ishwar Maraj near the top of the order.
They will then look to Cape Town-based former Barbados opening bowler Ally Johnson and some canny spinners - plus Dhaniram's accurate medium-pacers - to take their wickets.
Impact: With the ability to work the ball around or hit out, Dhaniram will be able to adapt his game to the team’s needs. He is match-fit and used to playing against good bowlers. His medium-pace bowling could be quite effective too.
West Indies play a warm-up match against South Africa on March 8 at Rondebosch Cricket Club. They then kick off their Over-50s World Cup campaign on March 11 against New Zealand, again at Rondebosch CC, in what could be a decisive match in Division A.
By Jim Morrison