(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – Cricket talents past, present and future converged at the world-famous Sabina Park as the 19th annual Vice-Chancellor’s XI Cricket Match hosted by The University of the West Indies (The UWI) unfolded on Thursday, July 19.
The tradition which celebrates the historic partnership between the University and the West Indies Cricket Board of Control (now Cricket West Indies) honoured West Indies cricket greats, Chris Gayle and Patrick Patterson.
In his opening remarks at the match presentation, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, himself a former league cricketer (in England) and author of several cricket books, including “The Development of West Indies Cricket: Vol 1 and 2”, noted that The UWI had long played an active role in promoting cricket, recognising the sport’s contribution to the regional integration process.
“We, understandably, take great pride in the fact that the current West Indies captain [Jason Holder], and wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton are UWI alumni, among others.”
Vice-Chancellor Beckles is also founder and director of the CLR James Centre for Cricket Research, and was founder and Chairman of the West Indies Cricket Board’s Cricket High Performance Centre.
Honoured this year, were fast bowler Patrick Patterson and superstar batsman Chris Gayle. Patterson was unable to attend, but another West Indies great, and current Bangladesh coach, Courtney Walsh accepted the accolade on his behalf. Over the years, The UWI has used the occasion of the friendly cricket match to honour West Indian players deemed to have made outstanding contributions to the game.
Other West Indies legends such as Michael Holding, Sir Vivian Richards, Gordon Greenidge, Jeffrey Dujon, Desmond Haynes, Andy Roberts, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh are among some of the past honourees.
The acclaimed “World Boss” Chris Gayle accepted his citation, and brought several of his protégés from his Chris Gayle Academy to the event. Gayle said he was thrilled with the honour and to provide a model for the youngsters just coming into the sport. “I’m proud to be part of this great tradition of West Indies cricket, and to be recognised by The UWI for my contribution to the development of the sport and the region,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor’s XI took on the Bangladesh international touring team in a pulsating 50-overs day/night match, but Bangladesh earned a wicket victory in reply to the Vice-Chancellor’s XI score of 227 for 9.
Among the Vice-Chancellor’s XI were current West Indies Test players Rovman Powell and Andre Russell – who are also students of The UWI – as well as O.J. Shields, Oshane Walters, Amir Jangoo, Yannick Ottley, Jarlani Searles, Vikash Mohan, Nicholas Kirton, Kavem Hodge, Jermaine Levy and Gilon Tyson. The team was captained by Chadwick Walton, a current West Indies player as well as a UWI graduate.