He can bat at the top of the order and also bowl the new ball, so Barnwell is sure to be called upon during the upcoming weeks.
He was a member of the Guyana team which won the inaugural Caribbean T20 back in 2010 and dreams of a repeat when the tournament is played at Queen’s Park Oval and Beausejour Cricket Stadium from January 6 to 20.
“I have been in the team for a while now and I will look to step it up in this tournament. I am one of the senior players in the team, having also played for the West Indies, and so I have my role in the team – and part of that is being a leader,” said Barnwell, who celebrates his 26th birthday on the opening day on Sunday.
“We have some very good T20 players in both the batting and bowling departments. We have faith we can win again. We have faced challenges before, but that has only helped to make us stronger as a team in the end.”
Back in 2010, it took the heroics of the highly-touted Devendra Bishoo, who bowled brilliantly, and the little known Jonathan Foo played the innings of a lifetime to blitz Barbados in the final. This sparked wild celebration among the members of the Guyanese expatriate community who swarmed Queen’s Park Oval.
Since then, Guyana have struggled in the tournament. They failed to reach the Final Four in 2011 and were again eliminated at the preliminary stage last year when they managed just two wins out of four matches. However, Barnwell noted that the mood in the camp is upbeat as they look to bring the same fire and desire they had three years ago.
“When we won the first tournament, we had Travis Dowlin as the batsman batting through the innings. (Since then) we were looking forward to someone to step-up and emulate him. We were having some great starts, but no one was carrying on for us and I think that’s one of the areas we need to improve in,” said Barnwell, who has represented West Indies in four T20 Internationals.
“I think we played well in a couple of games last year but we didn’t advance. The last match against the Windward Islands was a must win situation for us. The rains played a part in that too, but we got to play the game and it is just that the result was not what we wanted to have to book a place in the next round. This time around we will make a fresh start, take control from the start and look to go all the way.”
Last year Guyana defeated the Leeward Islands and Canada before suffering defeats to defending champions Trinidad & Tobago and the Windward Islands. This year they open their campaign against Combined Campuses & Colleges at Queen’s Park Oval on Monday at 8 pm (7 pm Jamaica Time).