All roads lead to the Guyana National Stadium at Providence this afternoon as a galaxy of former stars attempt to roll back the years in a feature t20 day-night cricket match, scheduled to commence at 16:00hrs as a part of the activities in the Guyana Festival.
The Guyana Festival is organized by Ministry of Tourism and is being held under the theme Sound, Soul and Taste.
Fans will pay $1,000 to enter the Stadium and will be treated to an evening of nostalgia as former West Indies Test player Clayton Lambert leads the Master’s X1 against a President’s X1 which will be captained by former West Indies Skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan.
A football match between top club sides GDF and Slingers will be played after the cricket match while the night will climax with the Night of Legends Concert. The inaugural three-day Guyana Festival was scheduled to begin last night and conclude tomorrow night.
The t20 match will feature several outstanding players of past eras together with a collection of promising talent and what is expected to be a sizeable crowd should anticipate plenty of entertainment.
Former Test players, Lambert, Travis Dowlin, Faoud Bacchus, Sew Shivnarine, Colin Stuart and Clyde Butts will all be on show for the Master’s X1 which will be complemented by young legs in the form of Amir Khan, Keon Joseph and Raun Johnson.
Ex-Guyana players Sudesh Dhaniram, Rabindranauth Seeram, Derrick Kallicharran, Huburn Evans, Sheik Mohamed, Kevin Darlington, Arjune Nandu and former Guyana under-19 player and ex-USA Captain Steve Messiah make up the Master’s X1.
The Presidents X1 include Guyana’s only current Test player Shivnarine Chanderpaul who celebrates his 40th birthday this month and should become the ninth 40-plus West Indian to play Test cricket when the Test series against Bangladesh commence next month.
Sarwan, Reon King, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Assad Fudadin, Mahendra Nagamootoo have all played at the Test level and are a part of the President’s X1, which also includes former Guyana First-Class players Azeemul Haniff, Lennox Cush, Vishal Nagamootoo, Roderick Lovell, Rayon Griffith, Zaheer Mohamed, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Anthony Bramble, Easun Crandon, Jermaine Neblette.
Spectators today, especially the older ones, will relive the memories provided by 60-year-old Bacchus’ 250 against India or when he chased a wide and was caught behind in the 1983 World Cup final or debate whether Nagamootoo or his uncle Derrick Kallicharran was the better leg-spinning all-rounder, or if Arjune was a better bowler than both of them.
Some will remember 57-year-old Clyde Butts’ wicket-less spell on his Test debut and his wedding on the Rest day of that match while the 52-year-old Lambert’s brutal 151 at Bourda against Barbados in a 50-over game will spring to the minds of others.
Yet others will reminisce about the days when King and Franklyn Rose seemed on the brink of becoming a great West Indies fast bowling pair or when Sarwan stood up to Australian pacer Glen McGrath in which West Indies successfully chased down a world record 418 in Antigua.
The young and old should know that Chanderpaul has played the most Tests by any West Indian or that he was stumped for the first time in Tests in the last series against New Zealand.
And the memories go on and on as most of the players involved this evening gets a one in a life time chance of playing at Guyana’s best cricket facility under lights.
Tourism Minister (acting) Irfaan Ali told Kaieteur Sports yesterday that cricket has helped to put Guyana on the World Map for something positive, adding that Guyana is a cricket crazy nation.
“Any Guyana Festival has to include cricket and this match gives us a chance to see our old stars on show and we expect a massive crowd for the game. Guyana has produced several outstanding cricketers on the International arena and this is our way of saying thank you to them in a small way,” Ali said.
Former West Indies Captain Clive Lloyd will also be present although he informed he is not playing because of his ‘bad knees’.
Master’s XI: Clayton Lambert (Captain), Travis Dowlin, Sudesh Dhaniram, Rabindranauth Seeram, Faoud Bacchus, Steve Messiah, Sew Shivnarine, Derrick Kallicharran, Shiek Mohamed, Kevin Darlington, Arjune Nandu, Clyde Butts, Keon Joseph, Raun Johnson, Colin Stuart, Hubrun Evans, Amir Khan, (Manager/Coach) Mark Harper
President’s XI: Ramnaresh Sarwan (Captain), Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Azeemul Haniff, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Assad Fudadin, Lennox Cush, Vishal Nagamootoo, Mahendra Nagamootoo, Roderick Lovell, Rayon Griffith, Zaheer Mohamed, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Anthony Bramble, Reon King, Easun Crandon, Jermaine Neblett, (Manager/Coach) Garvin Nedd. (Sean Devers)
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