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Seaga bats for Rowe

Published:Wednesday | June 22, 2011 | 12:00 AM

Ryon Jones, Gleaner Writer

Former Prime Minister Edward Seaga sees no problem with past West Indies and Jamaica cricketer, Lawrence Rowe, being honoured by the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA).

The players' pavilion at Sabina Park was on Monday named in honour of Rowe, despite him having led two rebel tours of apartheid-ruled South Africa in 1982-83 and 1983-84.

This has resulted in the Lyndel Wright administration, which has been in office for less than three months, coming under criticism from some sections of society. However, Seaga, who was prime minister between 1980 and 1989, believes that just as South Africa has been accepted back into society, so, too, should Rowe.

"I don't have a problem with him being honoured, so to speak, or being forgiven, so to speak, because so many other people who have done far worse than him have been forgiven," Seaga stated. "This is something that should be looked at against the background of the fact that South Africans have now been brought back into the fold in terms of proper relationships with everybody else."

He added: "Therefore, there is no reason why he (Rowe) should be singled out as someone who we will continue to keep under special sanctions for having done what he did."

Rebels banned

All the players who participated in the tour of South Africa during the apartheid period - which saw the majority black population denied equal rights and subjected to abuse by the State - were banned from cricket. The bans were subsequently lifted in 1989 in keeping with the release of Nelson Mandela from prison and a move to establish democracy in that country.

Rowe apologised for his involvement in the tours ahead of the ceremony at Sabina Park on Monday.

Rowe played 30 Test matches between 1972 and 1980, averaging 43.55, including seven centuries and seven half-centuries. He scored a record 214 and 100 not out in his Test debut against New Zealand at Sabina Park. He, however, migrated to the United States after the Rebel Tours.

The southern bowling end, which lies below the George Headley Stand, was named after Michael Holding, while the northern bowling end has been named in honour of Courtney Walsh.

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