Sunday, December 17, 2017

‘Promising cricketing career cut short’

Teen killed in highway accident...


last rites: Trinidad and Tobago senior cricket team captain Rayad Emrit, right, along with pacer Shannon Gabriel, left, all-rounder Imran Khan, second from left, and batsman Jason Mohammed, third from left at the funeral of former T&T Under-19 pacer Tevin Robertson. Here they carry Robertson’s coffin into the New Calvary Tabernacle, Princes Town, yesterday. —Photo INNIS FRANCIS

Mark Fraser

THE TALENT of former Under-19 cricketer Tevin Robertson was remembered during his funeral service yesterday.

Mourners were told this talent was nurtured at an early age by his mother, with Robertson using a comb and soft drink bottle cap as a bat and ball, which led to him becoming a good player.

Last Saturday, Robertson died in a crash on the Solomon Hochoy Highway near Gasparillo.

In a eulogy delivered by Robertson’s coach Amin Forgenie,  on behalf of his mother Carlanne St John, mourners were told: “I remember your first bat—none of the remote control cars or planes interested you—you ran around the house with a comb and a soft drink cover, batting the cover for six. 

“We finally had to concede and buy you the cricket gear. Then you bat the ball the hardest against the wall. You were bowler, batsman, fielder and wicket-keeper, running around for hours. I knew then, you were destined for greatness.

“When I stood in the burning sun for hours watching you train, I would smile to myself and say, he better be great and great you were,” St John said.

At four, Robertson knew the names of all the players on the West Indies team and when borrowing books from the library as a child, St John remembered him choosing the ones with black and white pictures of cricket greats.

Robertson’s mother recalled she had to read these books to him repeatedly and when she hid them, Robertson then made her borrow cricketer Courtney Walsh’s autobiography, which she had to read from cover to cover.

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board Azim Bassarath described Robertson as “one for the future”.

Robertson was part of the Trinidad and Tobago Under-19 team last year when they played at St Kitts. Bassarath said one of the West Indies selectors spoke in “glowing terms” of Robertson and said soon he would have been on the West Indies team.

Bassarath said the entire West Indies team went into mourning on Saturday on hearing of Robertson’s passing.

Robertson started his cricket career with Powergen Sports Club and last played as a left arm fast bowler at Moosai Sports Club, having joined last September for the 2014 season. 

Members from the club created a guard of honour with their cricket bats as  Robertson’s casket left the New Calvary Tabernacle in Princes Town following the service which was officiated by Rev Dr Anthony Ali.

Robertson’s three-year-old sister, Azariah patted her brother’s body and asked him to wake up.

Members of the Under-19 team who wore red jerseys at the funeral had earlier wheeled the casket into the church for the service which was also attended by national cricketers Darren Bravo, Shannon Gabriel, Imran Khan and Rayad Emrit.

His former language teacher at St Benedict’s College, La Romaine, Allyson Rebeiro, where Robertson graduated two years ago as the  captain of the school’s team, said Robertson was not only gifted in cricket but also at football and in languages.

She said a minute’s silence was held in Robertson’s memory during the schools’ farewell function for its principal on Wednesday.

Rebeiro ended her tribute by saying in Spanish, “Rest in peace, our dear Tevin, St Benedict’s College will never forget you.”

Robertson was buried at the Navet Public Cemetery, Princes Town.