Galaxy of stars for Lawrence Rowe Foundation cricket match
Tony Becca, Contributing Editor
A galaxy of former West Indies stars, plus a couple others from elsewhere, is set to gather in Florida next month for what should be a memorable weekend for cricketers and fans of cricket.
The cricketers, West Indies Legends, will be attending a banquet at the South Florida Conference Centre in Margate on Saturday, January 24, and will be engaged in a cricket match against a USA Cavaliers X1 at Central Broward Regional Park and Stadium on Sunday, January 25, in the event organised by the Lawrence Rowe Legendary Cricket Foundation.
Leading the assembly of legends will be former West Indies captains Garry Sobers, Courtney Walsh and Brian Lara.
Founded in 2011, the Rowe Foundation has been involved in the Jamaica Independence Programme, an annual event which attempts to spread the Jamaica culture in Florida through the sport of cricket. It also attempts to get cricket in Florida schools and help in the general development of children aged 7-14.
The cricket weekend is being sponsored by Caribbean Airlines and El Dorado Rum, and part proceeds from next year's event will go to former Jamaica and West Indies fast bowler Patrick Patterson.
Apart from the cricketing legends, inclusive of Wes Hall and Andy Roberts, the Mighty Sparrow, a regional musical legend, will also be performing at the banquet.
"It should be a great and memorable event," said Rowe, founder of the foundation and the man who scored 214 and 100 not out in a world-record debut performance against New Zealand in 1972 and stroked a wonderful 302 against England in1974.
"It will be difficult to get some of the legends in action on the Sunday, but they will all be in the thick of things, one way or the other," continued Rowe.
He said former West Indies wicketkeeper Deryck Murray will be the guest speaker at the banquet, while the "older fellows" will talk about their best or their favourite moment in the game.
Those players will include Sobers, once the world-record holder for the highest individual Test score; Wes Hall, once the fastest bowler in the world; Lance Gibbs, once the world-record holder for the number of Test wickets; and Easton McMorris, the West Indies opening batsman from Jamaica.
The legends who have accepted invitations to participate are Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Alvin Kallicharran, Larry Gomes, David Murray, Carlisle Best, Collis King, Ricardo Powell, Darren Ganga, Colin Croft, Joel Garner, Merv Dillion, and Wavell Hinds.
Two former West Indies captains, Rohan Kanhai and Clive Lloyd, have also been invited but have not yet confirmed.
The Cavalier X1will be led by former Guyanese representative Derek Kallicharran and will include Mushfiqur Rahim and Mashrafe Mortaza of Bangladesh, once they are available.