In his look back this week, Statistician Charwayne Walker highlights the multi talented Orin Cumberbatch.
Although he started his Secondary Education at Guyana’s Oriental College, Orin Cumberbatch transfer to Christ Church was inevitable. His best friends George Hyles, George Sharples, Aubrey Chalmers and the late Clyde Wolly Forde were all proud Christ Church’s standouts. The Sport that first made him a National Player was football the year was 1971 and Orin played an integral role when the Lennox Arthur side defeated Suriname for the first time at the Inter Guiana Games Football series on home soil.
The following year, 1972, young Cumberbatch made his first overseas outing in National colours but this time the Sport was basketball. He along with Schoolmates Aubrey Chalmers as Captain and Wholly Forde was part of the National under-19 Team that toured Suriname. Boyed by the Suriname tour, Orin started to focus more on basketball. His biggest moment came in 1974 when Barbados Senior National team visited the Land of Many Waters for a Goodwill series against their Guyanese counterparts and the tourist itinerary included two matches against the Guyana National Under-19 team which Orin was an integral part.
In both matches played under lights at parade ground, he had the local fans, especially those from is Charlotte Street Ward, in a frenzy. So it was no surprise when the name Orin Cumberbatch was announced in the Mike Brusche led squad in November of 1974 for a Goodwill tour of Barbados. Although he had limited court time in his debut senior tour, the experienced gained in Bridgetown would later proud invaluable.
He failed to find favour with the National selectors the following year 1975 and was omitted for the prestigious Central American Championship in the Dominican Republic. He responded with some outstanding performances for Ravens at Division one level but was again not selected when the National team engaged a Chinese Provisional team in November 1975 at the National Sports Hall.
His returned to the National Fray in 1976 was spectacular. He and Skipper Mike Brusche were Guyana’s leading scorers in a triangular series involving Guyana, Suriname and Barbados. His 25 points vs Barbados in the tournament’s opening victory remains his International Career High. His next International engagement in 1976 was against Buffalo All Stars from the United States of America in June at the National Sports Hall. Guyana lost both matches to the semi-professional team.
After the Buffalo All Star Series, Cumberbatch left in August 1976 to honour a coaching course in Rome Italy. His only International Series on his return from Rome in 1977 was against the Mighty Cubans in May at the National Sports Hall. Although Guyana lost the series 3 Nil Cumberbatch and the boys gave a good account of themselves against their more experience and superior opponents.
The following year 1978, Cumberbatch had an International Series against Suriname’s National Club Champions Caribbean Little Devils and Canada Montreal’s Y. M. C. A. With Orin at the pivotal Point Guard position, Guyana won both series 2 games to one at the National Sports Hall. His 1978 International Campaign concluded in Bridgetown Barbados where Guyana engaged the host and Trinidad and Tobago in a triangular series as part of Barbados Anniversary Celebrations.
The next year 1979, Cumberbatch was very disappointed when Guyana lost a four match International Series 3 – one to Trinidad and Tobago at the National Sports Hall. Cumberbatch’s brilliance led Guyana to the opening victory but the National team that had two other Christ Church boys, Aubrey Chalmers and George Sharples, failed to deliver. He was the M.V.P when Eagles Basketball Club toured the twin Island Republic in February 1980 but failed to reproduce the same form when the Hewley Harry led National team visited in August of 1980 for an International triangular series involving host Trinidad, Barbados and Guyana, this time the M.V.P honours went to the Rookie Brentnol Carmichael.
His last two International Series in 1980 was against the highly touted Northern League of Trinidad and Suriname. Guyana won both series at the National Sports Hall. His proudest moment as a National player came in August 1981 when Guyana took the Bronze Medal at the inaugural Caricom Championship at the National Sports Hall.
Two other Christ Church disciples were on that historic team; George Sharples and Brentnol Carmichael. Orin’s last outing in National colours was to Trinidad & Tobago for two Goodwill Matches against the host,
International matches played 46, career high 25 pts vs Barbados National Sports Hall 1976. For the records this Christ Church standout is a former United States of America corrections officer retired, cousin of former National Player and National Coach Mark Agard.
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