… will join elite ranks including Hooper, Harper, GibbsBy Clifton RossJAGUARS bowling wizard Veerasammy Permaul could be the next Guyanese spinner to achieve 500 first-class wickets, thus joining an elite panel of legends to achieve such a feat.With 486 wickets from his 113 Regional 4-Day games played, to date, the 30-year-old is among the leading bowlers in the Region and one of the most successful spinners to come from Guyana.Heading into today’s start of the 2020 Regional 4-Day tournament, Permaul could easily break the 500-wicket mark, given his customary knack of taking a number of wickets, coupled with his personal record his 26 5-wicket and 5 10-wicket career hauls.The out-of-favour Windies Test/ODI bowler ended a modest last season with 42 wickets from the 10 rounds played, second overall behind leading wicket-taker Rakeem Cornwall (54). With just 14 needed to reach 500 wickets, it is likely that the former Guyana skipper could join the ranks of some of Guyana and West Indies’ most legendary bowlers in no time.The Berbician is already miles ahead of the contemporary spin duo of Neil McGarrell and Mahendra Nagamootoo, both of whom represented Guyana and West Indies with much pride and passion during the 90s into the 2000s.Nagamootoo, the leg-spinner ended with 370 wickets from his 102 1st class matches played while McGarrell, a left-arm spinner, similar to Permaul, ended with just 276 wickets from 84 games.Already Guyana’s most successful spinner within the last 5 years, Permaul’s rampage over the past few seasons has also allowed him to surpass spin-partner in Devendra Bishoo, who currently sits on 382 wickets and could be another Guyanese to end with a career 500 victims before he hangs up the boots.Going into the archives of the spin-bowling legends, however, Permaul has even managed to eclipse former Guyana and Windies off-spinner Clyde Butts.Butts, who played 7 Tests for the West Indies in the 80s, snapped up 348 wickets at the Regional first- class level.Despite his annual returns of 40 wickets or more, dating back to the last 5 seasons, the former Windies Test spinner now eyes elite company as he approaches the magical 500 tally. Should he reach his landmark, Permaul will sit among the likes of Carl Hooper, Lance Gibbs and Roger Harper as the other spinners to have 500 or more wickets at that level.Hooper, a former Guyana and Windies all-rounder, yielded 555 1st class wickets from his right-arm off-break when he ended his career. Harper, Guyana’s ex-captain and one of the premier limited overs off-spinners during the 80s, ended with 146 international wickets; 46 from Test and 100 from ODIs.Harper, the current Windies Chief Selector captured 567 wickets from his 200 games played. Meanwhile Gibbs, arguably Guyana’s greatest spinner and the first bowler to reach 300 Test wickets, wreaked havoc during his days in operation as he bagged a whopping 1 024 wickets by the time his playing days were over in the 70s.Outside of the legends, Jamaica Scorpion’s Nikita Miller (538 wickets) and former Windies and Windward Volcanoes off-spinner Shane Shillingford (572 wickets) who was banned from bowling domestically in January of 2019 for illegal action; are the only two active spinners leading Permaul with regard to wickets taken.Meanwhile, given Permaul’s youth and being one of the fittest players in the Jaguars squad and Caribbean, it is likely that the Guyanese spin ace will find himself in the 500 Club by the end of the 2020 first-class season.