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Sew Shivnarine To Be Honored
Benefit Planned for Former Guyana and West Indies Test Player

By John L. Aaron

August 1st, 2008
According to the King James’ version of the Holy Bible, Jesus is quoted as saying “A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house.” Well, part of that biblical quotation may very well apply to former Guyana and West Indies Test cricketer Sew Shivnarine, who is being honored by some of his supporters - 9 CThe friends of Shiv Committee.”

Sew Shivnarine in nets with New York Under-15 team.

The committee comprises several cricket enthusiasts and close friends of Sew Shivnaraine in New York City. Though born and reared in Guyana, where he honed his early cricketing skills, making the West Indies team – a dream of many youngsters, Shiv is now a resident of New York and far from his country, but within the house of friends, who are delighted to honor the man some simply call Jack.

Sewdatt Shivnarine was born at Albion, Berbice in Guyana and made his test debut for the West Indies under the captaincy of Alvin Kallicharran, at Georgetown, Guyana and against Australia in 1978, at the age of 25. The right-handed batsman and left-arm orthodox bowler went on to play seven more tests for the West Indies with a batting average of just over 29 runs. Shiv’s test debut saw him scoring 53 (10x4s) off 118 balls, before being caught off the bowling of Jeff Thompson. He was the second highest scorer in that test behind opener Alvin Greenidge, 56. The next highest scorers in that first inning came from the bats of Deryck Murray and Derick Parry, each with 21 runs apiece. Such was the fiery effect of the Australian bowling attack of Lillie and Thompson. Shivnarine would go on to score 63 (7x4s) off 147 deliveries in the second innings of that Test match, behind centuries from Basil Williams, 100 and Larry Gomes, 101.

The dark-skinned youngster Shiv had made an impressive debut and would go on to represent the West Indies in seven more test matches during the next year, the last in February 1979 at Kanpur, India, and against the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Gundappa Viswanath, and Kapil Dev.

Some of Sew Shivnarine’s other West Indies contemporaries were Vanburn Holder, Malcolm Marshall, Alvin Kallicharran, Rafick Jumadeen, Norbert Phillip, Irvine Shillingford, and Sylvester Clarke. Shivnarine has played 78 first-class matches with an average of 32.56, while bagging 67 first-class wickets averaging 32.56 per wicket.

The middle-order batsman was a very good utility player, much admired by his fellow Guyanese and Caribbean nationals, along with several of his international peers around the world, despite playing all eight Test matches only against Australia and India.

Shivnarine migrated to the United States, after some disappointing political episodes within the body-politic of Guyanese and West Indies cricket circles. Having made his entry into Test cricket after six West Indies players refused to represent the West Indies in 1978, Shiv grabbed the opportunity and went on to make a significant contribution to Guyana and West Indies cricket. He later became a resident of the United States, where he continued to play the game he loves, while working at then Chemical Bank. He would go on to captain the US national team for some ten years, before turning the captaincy over to another outstanding Guyanese player – Zamin Amin. Shivnarine’s exploits as a journeyman cricketer, sans the cheering crowds of Bourda, Kingston, Kolkata and New Delhi.

Shivnarine continued to play club cricket in the cricket-rich New York area, captaining clubs such as Vikings and Golden Arrow in the Eastern American Cricket Association league, and only recently has reduced his on field appearances, preferring to focus on helping New York’s cricketing youngsters, while serving as coach and/or manager of teams within the league and the New York tri-state area.

There is no greater honor than that which is bestowed upon one by one’s peers and stakeholders of the sport, because it is those who understand the passion, the pain, the sacrifice, the desire to give back more than to receive. Thus Sew Shivnarine being honored by “The Friends of Shiv Committee,” is indeed an honor way beyond the coastline of the South American nation of Guyana. An honor befitting a hero of the sport within the enclaves of the Caribbean Diaspora and the New York cricketing community.

It is a fitting tribute to an unselfish player such as Sew Shivnarine, from his friends, including Krish Prasad, Motie (Golden Arrow Bar & Restaurant), Insaf “Birdman” Ali (2A’s Mechanical, Inc.), Hackim Mohamed (Naresa Palace), Rudy Persaud, James Manbahal (Manbahal Custom Homes), Dr. Stanley Sohan, Haresh, Looknauth Persaud (Kings Jewelry World), Ramesh (Star Party Rentals), John Aaron, and many, many more.

The “Committee” has organized a Benefit Dinner in honor of Shiv on Friday, August 15, 2008 at 8:00 pm at Chateau Royale, 111th Street and Atlantic Avenue, Richmond Hill. The suggested minimum donation is $50 per person and includes a sumptuous dinner and dancing.

For more information and tickets contact Motie (718) 809-4087, Krish (516) 241-1138, Birdman (347) 234-3556, John (917) 861-9110 or Rudy (917) 682-6142.
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