Lloyd, Kanhai, Gibbs To Highlight Sundar Cricket Day
By Orin Davidson
For 13 years, the Sundar Memorial Cricket Day has satisfied a burning desire for top class cricket entertainment in New York.
This year the organizers will take their annual series to legendary levels as a host of past greats will grace the Whitestone Park cricket facility for the 14th staging next Saturday (July 29).
Clive Lloyd, Rohan Kanhai, Lance Gibbs, Basil Butcher and Joe Solomon, who featured in some of the greatest periods in West Indies cricket, will grace the Sundar series with their presence this year, in what will be the most prestigious of all the 13 stagings in the series’ history.
The five legends will contest a Hong Kong series type six overs a side game, that will be a star-studded attraction in addition to the feature Guyana versus Rest of Caribbean encounter.
The Legends along with a collection of other Test stars will comprise the two teams which should attract the biggest ever Sundar series crowd ever.
Lloyd who captained West Indies to the longest ever unbeaten reign in Test cricket, and is the highest scoring Guyanese Test player, along with Gibbs a former world record wicket holder, with Kanhai, considered one of the most attractive stroke makers and with Butcher, one of West Indies’ most talented batsmen ever to play, will bring a total of 339 Tests to Whitestone Park along with 16,846 Test runs along with Gibbs’ 309 wickets tally.
Organizer Ray Sundar said this year’s series will be the highlight of all his stagings because it will feature one of the most prestigious gatherings of past Test players ever to be assembled on a New York City playing venue.
In addition New York based ex West Indies players Sew Shivnarine and Leonard Baichan will also be part of the momentous occasion along with Everton Matthis.
Baichan it will be remembered is one of the few players to score a century on his Test debut while Shivnarine was part of the West Indies replacement team after the Kerry Packer exodus of the first line players in the late 1970s.
The Sundar Day will provide the opportunity for Lloyd, Kanhai and Gibbs to play together for the first time since their playing careers ended decades ago.
And the New York fans will be the major beneficiaries for the second time within a month, following the tour of New York by the Brian Lara led West Indies team who played at Floyd Bennett Park in Brooklyn.
Indeed, those players have never seen Kanhai in action and fewer of Lloyd.
But the Big Apple fans would, making for a potential record turn out at Whitestone Park next Saturday. Kanhai’s famous sitting pull shot that has made the world archives richer, alone should attract people merely to see him in the flesh.
Even if their speed will have slowed with age, the skills of Kanhai, Lloyd, Gibbs and Butcher will be worth seeing if for only six overs a side.
The Guyana versus Rest of Caribbean game over 40 overs will have most of the leading players on the New York League circuit as the latter team seeks to close the gap in the win/ loss ratio established by the former in the last 13 years.
In the past, this game has attracted the likes of current Test stars Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Darren Ganga, and this year’s encounter will not be found wanting for domestic talent.
The preliminary game of the day’s activities, which will be dedicated to the rehabilitation of the Port Mourant Community Center in Berbice, Guyana, will feature a clash of the best Under-17 talent from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut over 20 overs.
Kanhai, Butcher along organizer Sundar are all from Port Mourant and their presence will go a long way towards giving something back to the village that produced some of the most attractive players to grace the world stage.
There will also be the regular half time show on the three-game program and the action will start at 10 a.m.
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