By Royston Alkins
For anyone who has been following sports in Guyana, the name Niran Bissu must have left an impression. His performances of late have been nothing short of stellar.
He is a multi-talented 14-year-old St Rose’s High School student, who in 2018 has continuously been in the headline for all the right reasons; dominating his junior counterparts in both table tennis and cricket.
Bissu wielded his racket to the championship title in the National Sports Commission Mashramani Table Tennis tournament in the Boys Under-15 category, and then emulated the feat the following weekend in the Banks Malta Supreme Titans Table Tennis Club tournament, in the same division.
On March 4, the third consecutive weekend, Niran captured the Scotia Bank Table Tennis Tournament Under-15 title, thus cementing his reputation as Guyana’s Under – 15 iceman. At the same tournament, he upstaged his senior counterpart, Miguel Wong to capture the Boys Under- 18 title.
You’d think that table tennis is his focus. However, the past week has seen Bissu, literally spinning Demerara to championship honours in the just concluded Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Inter-County Under – 17 tournament, snaring ten wickets in three Man-of-the-Match performances for the newly crowned champs.
“For the first, balancing both was hard, but after a while, it became a habit and part of my routine,” the Titans Table Tennis club player told Stabroek Sport, of the challenge of managing the rigours of playing two sports.
His dominance in the racquet sport comes on the back of being involved in the sport for nearly eight years, having first picked up a racquet at the tender age of six, and a year later, making his maiden appearance for Guyana.
His involvement in cricket, on the other hand, has merely been just over two years, which is quite remarkable for someone who seems to be a natural wicket taker.
His recent success nonetheless, he credits to his dedication and hard work.
“Well basically, my training is my major contributing factor, because if I didn’t train my performance would not be as good,” the Everest Cricket Club player pointed out.
Bissu, for his dominance, is likely to turn out for Guyana in both sports, having almost cemented his spot on the junior national table tennis team to participate in the upcoming Junior Caribbean Tab
le Tennis Tournament slated for Cuba next month.
His three match-winning performances with the ball should certainly see him being one of Guyana’s leading spinners in this year’s West Indies Regional Under – 17 tournament which is usually played in the Twin Island Republic.
For him, those possibilities, the latter more so, brings elation.
“I felt accomplished and excited knowing that I would most likely represent Guyana in both sports. I know my training is paying off,” an elated Bissu noted.
In that regard, Stabroek Sport enquired which is more fulfilling – success with his racquet, or with the ball in his hand. His response seemed calculated and wasn’t surprising.
“I enjoy and love cricket more. Cricket would be my priority and tennis my second choice. I would choose cricket over tennis because, in Guyana, it is more recognised and supported. So playing cricket would be better than playing tennis in Guyana,” he articulated.
His success, however, has not been without the outstanding support of his family, who according to him is always there to show support, whether he is playing either sport, which enhances his performances.
It would undoubtedly be a wonderful story to follow if indeed he gets the opportunity to represent the Golden Arrow Head in both disciplines. (Stabroek News)