Thursday, January 18, 2018

Oval honours Windies heroes

If you were one of the thousands of fans who attended the second Digicel Test between the West Indies and Australia at Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain, a wall of cricket heroes would have greeted you as you passed by the Elizabeth Street entrance to the historic venue.

The photos on the exterior wall on the eastern side of the ground only started to go up three days before the start of the Test on Sunday and the Oval management is already receiving kudos on the initiative.

Of the extra large images of past West Indies greats, six are of batting genius and double world record holder Brian Charles Lara, also a former Windies captain.

Those six adorn the north-eastern corner of the Oval, nicknamed the "BC Lara Corner", depicting some of the memorable moments in the star batsman's career.

The idea for putting up the photos was put forward by Queen's Park Cricket Club (QPCC) secretary Peter Inglefield to honour past cricketers.

QPCC chief executive officer Lisa Abraham explained that the executive assistant at the club, Jacqueline Corbin, and cricket director Bryan Davis, also a former Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies player, selected the photos for the wall and were guided in terms of which cricketers to use by the book The Glory Days: 25 Great West Indian Cricketers by Tony King and Peter Laurie.

"We have 17 up on the wall right now and we are looking for support to do 12 more," Abraham added.

She said that one photo cost $10,000 to put up and she also noted that the club wanted to keep the photos up for at least a year.

Abraham said as soon as the photos were being put up last week Thursday, the club began to get positive feedback, with people stopping and admiring and some even applauding from their vehicles as they passed by.

Abraham said the project has been endorsed by the West Indies Cricket Board, along with former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd, spin great Lance Gibbs and many others and is being supported by the Tourism Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago.

The photos that have gone up include Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Sir Garfield Sobers, Malcolm Marshall, Sir Vivian Richards, Lance Gibbs, Desmond Haynes, Clive Lloyd, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jimmy Adams, The Three Ws (in one photo)—Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Clyde Walcott and Sir Frank Worrell—and six of Lara.

Corbin said they are planning to put up photos of Jeffrey Dujon, Joel Garner, Wes Hall, Michael Holding, Sonny Ramadhin, Andy Roberts, Gordon Greenidge, Deryck Murray, Jeffrey Stollmeyer and Learie Constantine.

"We still have paintings up around the Oval but we thought photos of these players in their era would have had a bigger impact," said Corbin.

She said the club is also hoping to get more support to put up the rest of the photos.

For more information on the "wall of cricket heroes", contact Jacqueline Corbin at the Oval at 622-3787.