Hendriks pleased with Lifetime Award

Trinidad & Tobago Newsday article.

Port of Spain, Trinidad - Jackie Hendriks is pleased to have been presented with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Award was bestowed to the 79-year-old former Jamaica and West Indies wicket-keeper during the recent joint WICB/West Indies Players Association (WIPA) award ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port-of-Spain. 

“It was a great honour,” said the former West Indies team manager. “I wasn’t expecting anything like that. I don’t know how deserving I was of it. Anyway, I was very happy to receive the award.” 

Was this award a testament for all the work he put in, on and off the field? “I would expect probably it did, but you see, when you do something that you enjoy and love, it doesn’t seem arduous as others may think,” he replied. “It is a lot of fun.” 

Hendriks played 20 Tests, from 1962-1969, scoring 447 runs and claiming 47 dismissals (42 catches and five stumpings) while, in his First-Class career, from 1953-1969, he scored 1,568 runs and took 190 dismissals (140 catches and 50 stumpings). 

Concerning his playing career, Hendriks said, “it was well, it was just like any young West Indian player, you start playing at the lowest level, with ambition and so on. (I) had some success and eventually find (my) way into the West Indies team. 

“It was a great sense of pride for me to wear the tie and the blazer. It was always a lot of fun. I played with some very marvellous people and it was enjoyable.” 

After he retired from his on-field duties, “I was on the Jamaica Board, started off as assistant secretary and moving up eventually, in the ’90s I was elected as the president. But it has been trying to give something back to cricket, which has given me so much. It was never looked upon as a chore or as a job. It’s something that (I) enjoyed doing because it was for cricket and, as far as I’m concerned, it is the greatest game in the world. “I’m so happy to know that today players are able to earn a good living playing cricket. But, in our days, it was really sort of a pastime, if you want to call it that. It was always the honour of playing for the West Indies, and for your country and school as well.” 

Asked what moments stood out in his career, Hendriks responded, “there is so many of them (but) playing with Gary Sobers.” 

Now, he is not actively involved in the game but, “I still enjoy watching the game so it’s about that. That’s all it is now, a spectator.” 

Is he pleased to see the evolution of the game? “Some of it,” he replied. “I do not like 20-over cricket at all. I’ve now just become accustomed to the 50 overs stuff. I’m an old dinosaur. Test match cricket is my cricket.” 

During the 1990s, Hendriks served as an ICC (International Cricket Council) match referee, and saw a number of changes to the game, from the 1960s to now. 

“I think it’s a lot of changes, some for the better, some I don’t think for the better, I think some for the worst,” he commented. “There is the referral system now which has its pros and has its cons. I think it takes up a lot of time. 

“I think the umpires, at some stage, should take responsibility for some decisions that they’re referring, which are obvious,” he added. “But there are some good things and some things that I think are unnecessary. I think probably cricket has been fiddled around too much, and it has not allowed the game to flow, which I think is a very important thing because people seem to think that cricket is a slow and boring game. And the longer you take to get balls bowled and so on, is more people that are getting frustrated. 

“But I’m glad to see the crowds turning out to the cricket that I don’t like, which is the Twenty20. 

First Published In The Trinidad & Tobago Newsday.

Tue, 08/20/2013 - 21:59