Kallicharran grateful to T&T Cricket

Trinidad & Tobago Newsday article.

Port of Spain, Trinidad - Former West Indies batting great Alvin Kallicharran has described Trinidad and Tobago as his second home and expressed appreciation to the TT Cricket Board (TTCB) for hosting him for the next two weeks for a series of sessions with the nation’s young cricketers.

Kallicharran , who played 66 Tests for the West Indies between 1972 and 1980 amassing 4,399 runs with 12 centuries and 21 fifties, finished with an admirable career batting average of 44.43. 

He has been invited to TT by the local cricket board, headed by Azim Bassarath, and the initiative has received the support of Minister of Housing Dr Roodal Moonilal and Member of Parliament for Couva South Rudranath Indarsingh, a Minister in the Ministry of Finance. Also lending valuable support is Kall Co Limited, the local construction and general civil work contractors. 

The left-handed Guyanese, regarded as one of the greatest ever batsmen produced by the Caribbean will highlight a hectic two-week programme working with three national youth teams. 

Kallicharran who is very much involved in youth cricket development where he now resides in North Carolina, United States, will also conduct sessions with zonal affiliates of the TTCB. He is also scheduled to be in Tobago where he will also be a guest of honour at the opening of the West Indies Under-17 tournament next week. 

On Tuesday, the diminutive Kallicharran, now 65, was the toast of the town as numerous outstanding former TT cricketers, who knew and played with the diminutive ex-West Indies captain, turned up to give him a rousing “Trini” reception at the National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva. 

Chairing the function was Tarandath Sammy, national Under-17 team coach and chairman of the East Zone of the TTCB. And among the speakers paying glowing tribute to Kallicharran were Dr Allen Sammy, first vice-president of the TTCB; national team manager Manohar Ramsaran, a former Government Minister of Sport; and Reeza Abassali, a cricket historian and television cricket talk show host. 

Also present were Government Ministers Moonilal and Indarsingh, both passionate cricket fans who were eager to press flesh with the WI batting legend and chat with him about his outstanding cricket career. 

Also gracing the proceedings to chat and listen to Kallicharran were TTCB second vice-president Lalman Kowlessar, third vice-president Patrick Rampersad, general secretary Arjoon Ramlal, treasurer Sukesh Maniam, CEO Suruj Ragoonath, national team selector Narine Bideshi, Director of Cricket Operations Dudnath Ramkeessoon and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) director Baldath Mahabir. 

Kallicharran, in his short address, said he was thrilled to be invited to TT by the local cricket board who, he said, were the only cricket administrators in the region to give him the opportunity to contribute to youth cricket development. 

He said that his CV has been circulating around the Caribbean for many years and expressed deep disappointment that even his native Guyana had refused to even acknowledge communication that he had sent to them recently, at their request. 

He said that he is confident that with his wide knowledge and vast experience playing for and captaining the West Indies cricket team in a particularly troubled period in the 1970s has prepared him for the task at hand. 

Kallicharran said that circumstances conspired to mould him into a great player and he was grateful to have role models in former West Indies legends Sir Gary Sobers, Lance Gibbs, Rohan Kanhai and later felt honoured to play with Sir Vivian Richards, Gordon Greenidge and the battery of fast bowlers which put the region on top of the world for almost two decades. 

Kallicharran said that quite apart from having natural talent, success can come to anyone but is built on hard work, practice, a willingness to learn and correct your mistakes and a burning passion to give of your best always. 

“I am quite passionate about cricket and about young people. I think I can relate to them and enjoy the response and feedback I get. I am confident that I can add value to the local cricket programmes of the TT Cricket Board,” said Kallicharran. 

First Published In The Trinidad & Tobago Newsday.

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 03:08