Dowlin pressure

Ramnaresh Sarwan has withdrawn from Guyana’s squad with a back injury, further depleting the side ahead of their opening match of the WICB Regional Four-Day, first-class season this weekend in Antigua.

The West Indies right-hander, who was expected to captain the squad, has now been replaced by Rajendrika Chandrika, with left-hander Sewnarine Chattergoon expected to lead.

Sarwan’s withdrawal is the second blow to Guyana after his Test teammate Shiv Chanderpaul withdrew last week with a finger injury.

The duo are Guyana’s two most experienced batsmen with 206 Tests and nearly 15,000 Tests runs between them and are both expected to travel to Australia later this month on the Windies one-day tour.

Chanderpaul is replaced by Vishal ‘Cheesy’ Singh, who was in great form for most of 2009. He has a senior Inter-County century and a three-day first division undefeated century against Transport Sports Club to his credit in the last quarter of 2009.

He also scored a patient half century in the first practice match against the national team in December.

Their absence leaves the squad to depend heavily on their fledgling Test batsmen Travis Dowlin, Narsingh Deonarine and Chattergoon.

The 13-man squad left for Antigua yesterday where they will meet Trinidad & Tobago in the historic day/night match at the Vivian Richards Stadium starting Friday.

Guyana drew a bye for the first round of matches that were played in Jamaica last weekend.