Gayle thankful for UWI award
Superstar West Indies opener Chris Gayle says it feels good to have been recognised by the University of the West Indies (UWI) for his contribution to cricket and nation building.
The big-hitting batsman, who holds several world and West Indies records, was honoured yesterday by the regional institution during the break of innings of the UWI Vice-Chancellor's XI versus Bangladesh match at Sabina Park.
The game, which was enjoying its 19th staging, and is held annually against touring Test teams, also saw fearsome former West Indies and Jamaica fast bowler Patrick Patterson being presented with a similar accolade.
Patterson was unable to attend the presentation ceremony, and his award was collected by former West Indies and Jamaica teammate, and now Bangladesh bowling coach, Courtney Walsh.
''It is always (great), whenever you get these accolades," Gayle said. "You always feel privileged and thankful.
"The turnout of spectators as well has also been good, and it makes you feel as if you have made a contribution to their lives."
The accolades, which had the spectators applauding, was last year presented to veteran West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul in St Kitts against touring England.
Other West Indies players who have in the past been awarded for their contributions include legends Sir Viv Richards, Michael Holding, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Andy Roberts, Curtly Ambrose and Walsh.
"The selection of Gayle and Patterson was handpicked by the Vice-Chancellor (Sir Hilary Beckles) himself this year, who has an admiration for the contribution that Patterson has made by his fierce fast bowling, which he believes has dwindled a bit the Caribbean, and is something he would like to revive,'' said Dr Akshai Mansingh, dean of the Faculty of Sports at UWI.
"Meanwhile, Gayle has been a constant force to reckon with in the modern game, having being part of a revered few to have scored two triple centuries in Tests.
He is also the current holder of several world records in the newest format of the game, Twenty20, and has helped the West Indies secure two Twenty20 World Cup titles."