Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Two former Jamaica and West Indies cricketing greats, along with two of the best umpires the game has ever seen, were honoured during yesterday's Celkon Mobile Tri-Nation one-day international match between the regional side and India at Sabina Park.
The upper eastern wing at Jamaica's cricketing mecca was named the Alfred Valentine Wing, while the upper western wing was named the Collie Smith Wing, in tribute to the two late greats.
For the first time, umpires were also recognised with the naming of an area at Sabina Park in their honour, as the Umpires' Room was renamed the Douglas Sang Hue Steve Bucknor Umpires' Room.
Following the controversy surrounding the naming of a pavilion after Lawrence Rowe last June - an action which was rescinded - steps were taken to avoid a repeat.
"That is why we moved to ensure that we have an independent committee so that they can look at persons' contribution to the game and their uprightness and so on," president of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), Lyndel Wright, explained.
"They (committee) did that evaluation and they made the recommendations to the board and the board accepted the recommendations.
"It is a glowing honour for them (honorees), as they have made significant contributions to Jamaica and the West Indies, and it is well deserved as they have represented our people well."
The Easton McMorris-chaired committee had arrived at their decision for a number of months now, but the JCA was waiting for the right occasion to do the unveiling.
ALL WORTHY HONOREES
"Tony Becca and I formed the committee and we considered all the facets and aspects and we came up with Bucknor, Sang Hue, Smith and Valentine," McMorris said, before adding that all were worthy honorees given their sterling contribution to cricket.
Sang Hue, who stood in 31 Test matches between 1962 and 1981 and was regarded as the best umpire by many during his time, believes it was long overdue for umpires to be acknowledged in such a manner in Jamaica.
"This is the first time they have honoured umpires in Jamaica and I think it is overdue for umpires to be recognised," the 81-year-old told The Gleaner.
"It is good not only for me, but for the umpires," Sang Hue added while pointing out that it was extra special to be honoured at Sabina Park and a pleasure being recognised alongside Bucknor.