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Sports minister lashes out at Guyana critics

marciadottin, [email protected]

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GEORGETOWN – Sports Minister Frank Anthony has defended Guyana against criticism they will be poor regional representatives at the lucrative Twenty20 Champions League in South Africa next month.Anthony was speaking against the backdrop of scathing comments by Trinidadian sports writer Andre Baptiste who has openly criticised Guyana’s qualification for the multi-million-dollar tournament after the team won the inaugural Caribbean T20 Trophy last Saturday.Writing in the Guardian newspaper, Baptiste said: “This team is just not up to international standard and will be a poor representative for this region. Guyana was not the best team in the tournament.”  But Anthony hit back, reiterating that Guyana had merited their spot at the international tournament where they will meet the world’s best.“I want to say clearly so that it won’t be missed by anybody,” Anthony said.“The Guyana team went to the tournament they won the tournament they have earned their right not only to represent Guyana, but to represent the Caribbean region.”Guyana beat Barbados by one wicket in a thrilling final at Queen’s Park Oval, to lift the trophy and clinch their spot in the Champions League.Along the way, they defeated hot favourites Trinidad and Tobago who campaigned successfully in the Champions League last year, playing unbeaten to reach the final before losing to Australian state side New South Wales.Baptiste said he was “afraid Guyana may create such a poor impression, that they will erode the goodwill as we look to earn two places in future IPL Champions League tournaments”.However, Anthony said these comments were a clear indication of Baptiste’s disappointment over Trinidad and Tobago’s failure to qualify this time around. (CMC)