May 06, 2015 News
– says sports neglected for 23 years under PPP/C
Former West Indies cricket captain, Alvin Kallicharran, says he is batting for the Opposition coalition after becoming convinced that sports has been neglected in Guyana.
It would be among one of the biggest names that the A Partnership For National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU-AFC) coalition has managed to draw for the May 11 polls, and is being described as one of the toughest for the incumbent, People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) in their 22 years reign.
Among some of the notable names who have endorsed the coalition are prominent businessman, Jacob Rambarran and Joey Jagan, son of Dr. Cheddi Jagan, former leader and founder of the PPP/C.
Kallicharran, 66, who hails from Port Mourant, East Berbice, is related to Derek Kallicharran, a former left handed batsman and a right arm spinner for Guyana, and is the uncle of brothers, Mahendra and Vishal Nagamootoo, who both represented Guyana. Mahendra played on the West Indies team also.
In a full page advertisement in Kaieteur News yesterday, Kallicharran said that after a very long time, he was able to spend quality time in Guyana and travel across the country coaching youngsters and listening to the issues affecting everyone, especially as it relates to sports in general and cricket in particular.
“I am convinced that a lot more can be done if Government partners with the various associations for the promotion of sports rather than trying to take control of it.”
He said that after careful thought, he decided to endorse the APNU+AFC because “I think it is time for change. After 23 years, it is clear that sports has been neglected in Guyana. We have heard enough promises from this government and what they will do after this election when for the past two decades they had the opportunity to deliver on these promises and failed. It is time for a change.”
Yesterday, leader of the AFC, Khemraj Ramjattan said that Kallicharran, who captained the West Indies team between 1977-78, was especially disillusioned by the state of cricket in Guyana and the interference from Government in the Guyana Cricket Board.
“He is extremely concerned about the state of the cricket grounds, of ensuring that these are up-to-standard, are fenced and protected from cows etc.”
Kallicharran, who has retired from professional cricket two decades ago, has been giving talks to young cricketers.
“He is advocating for more help for cricketers. For the State to provide subsidies so that players can be trained to handle cricketing life mentally and even help in special meals,” Ramjattan said.
Kallicharran was also reportedly concerned that many young cricketers worry about the absence of support from Government programmes and in the face of that, worry about money to support families.
“He is saying that Government is promising all the time. You have a new stadium at Providence while the Guyana Cricket Board is being allowed to fall apart. The loss of support from businesses amidst the economic climate is also worrying to Mr. Kallicharran. For cricket to develop, there must be a proper plan, away from political interference as is the case now,” Ramjattan said.
Kallicharran played for the West Indies team between 1972 to 1981.
A left-handed batsman and right-arm off spinner, Kallicharran was known for his elegant, watchful batting style and was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year for 1973. He was part of the 1975 and 1979 teams that won the Cricket World Cup.
His highest score is 187 against India in the 1978–79 tour. He also found success with Warwickshire in English County cricket. While playing against minor county Oxfordshire in the 1984 one day Natwest Trophy he scored 206 and took 6 for 32.
One of his most noted international innings, a knock of 158 against England, was shrouded in controversy when he was run out by Tony Greig on the final ball of the first day. He attempted to join World Series Cricket, but failed, and was appointed captain of the West Indies in 1977–1978 when Clive Lloyd resigned over the Packer issue.
Kallicharan was later involved in controversy when he led an unofficial rebel tour to South Africa in defiance of the Gleneagles Agreement and anti-apartheid protesters in that country who asserted that official sporting structures were discriminatory.
He saw out the rest of his career playing for Orange Free State and Transvaal in South African domestic cricket.
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