CRICKET: Guyana’s Soaring Star – Shimron Hetmyer – By Albert Baldeo

SHIMRON HETMYER’S SOARING STAR! – By Albert Baldeo

Hetmyer’s century in the 2nd One Day against England was his fourth in just 22 ODIs.

Shimron Hetmyer

At his age (22), no other Caribbean batsman had even scored more than one. Sir Garfield Sobers, widely respected as the greatest cricketer who ever lived, said the youngster reminded him of himself. Sir Don Bradman had said the same of Sachin Tendulkar, who lived up to the comparison. Hetmyer must know that there can be no greater praise for a cricketer, and with it, no greater challenge. He must rise even higher.

Indeed, I saw the similarities long before Sobers uttered these words which will be the biggest test for the young Guyanese who hails from Cumberland, Berbice. I thought it was a video of Sobers batting when I first saw Hetmyer batting on TV.   

The suppressed back lift he adopted to avoid being bowled by yorkers after being advised by Sir Everton Weekes, the flourishing back-foot cover drive, the stride into the stroke, and the full follow through reminiscent of playing the long golf drives was trademark Sobers, no doubt. Yes, the ferocious pull and beautifully balanced cover drives that generated so much class and power, piercing the field, had to be Sir Gary.

The awesome power also evoked memories of Clive Lloyd. But no, it was the young Shimron Hetmyer, a blend of these great West Indian batsmen. This young man effuses class whenever his is at the wicket, making you want to stop and watch him bat.

A batsman who combines the supreme batting skills of a Gary Sobers and a Clive Lloyd will be a champion batsman-by a long mile. Wisden 1969 marveled at the “lightning footwork” of Sobers as he got into position for his stroke. Commenting upon Sobers’ six sixes in an over against his team in 1968, Glamorgan captain Tony Lewis said: “It was not sheer slogging through strength, but scientific hitting with every movement working in harmony.” Such is Shimron Hetmyer’s talent, and the promise he can fulfill.

It will be quite a challenge to live up to that expectation. Shimron, you don’t have to square-drive a yorker from Dennis Lillee bowling at almost 100 mph, as Sir Gary did, or hit six sixes in an over. Just play each ball on its merit. Remember, you have displayed enough class and talent to assure all that, as long as you maintain your professionalism to the game, and develop it, day by day, as Sobers said of another of your illustrious countrymen, Rohan Kanhai, you will be a superstar. The sponsors will line up to bid for you, and the crowds will jam the turnstiles to see you bat.

SHIMRON HETMYER – Complete Statistics and Information from CRICINFO

http://www.espncricinfo.com/westindies/content/player/670025.html

 

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