“I’m not totally surprised. I have been his coach all his life.”- Mathew Nandu’s father Arjune talks about Nandu’s Debut centuries

Youngster Mathew Nandu got off to a dream start yesterday by scoring a century for Guyana Harpy Eagles in the regional four-day match against Barbados Pride at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua

Guyana Harpy Eagles scored 371 runs on day two against Pride. Left-handed opening batsman Nandu’s 126 runs was a big help for that.

Matthew Nandu debut Photo: Brandon Corlette/ Cricnation592

The West Indies Under-19 batsman hit 14 fours in the 331 balls he faced and anchored the innings of the Harpy Eagles who batted first.

Nandu forged important partnerships with the lower order, adding 62 with Sinclair, 90 with Parmaul, and 39 with fellow opener Joseph.

Being the first Guyanese batsman to score a first-class century on debut puts him in elite company. The last Guyanese player to do so was opener Sudesh Dhaniram against Barbados in 1987.

Before that, Stephen Camacho scored 106 against Trinidad and Tobago in 1966, Carl Hooper scored 126 against Barbados in 1985, and in British Guiana days, Edward Wright and Joseph Solomon achieved similar feats in 1882 and 1956 respectively.

Mathew’s father Arjune later held a discussion with Newsroom Sport. He said that he always believed in his son’s ability.

“I’m not totally surprised. I always trusted his ability.”

Arjune, a leg-spinner in his day, played four first-class matches for Guyana between 1988 and 1992, before migrating to Canada, where Matthew was born.

“I have been his coach all his life.”

“I’m so happy for him to be able to do so well on debut. He works very hard on his game and this is the type of reward that he deserves.”

“This is just the beginning though. He has to continue working hard to improve, and most of all stay focused and stick to his game plan.”

image courtesy: Guyana Cricket Board

After the 2022 Youth World Cup, Matthew was drafted by the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Hero Caribbean Premier League but did not get a chance to play a single match.

“He went back to Guyana (to join the Guyana Harpy Eagles) with a completely different attitude. His mindset is totally different from a year ago. The way he has matured mentally is unbelievable. The World Cup experience and CPL has forced him to be an adult.”

Guyana held two four-day practice matches in January to select the Harpy Eagles squad, where Nandu scored 78, 28, and 50.

Chandrapul was engaged in the duties of the regional team and due to the skills shown in the two training matches, the young player was given a first-class mandate.

Nandu’s father further emphasized,

“Being away from home is tough, but he’s getting accustomed.”

Mathew is currently studying for a BA in Psychology at Wilfred Laurier University in Ontario, Canada, which he considers just as important as his cricketing ambitions.

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