Match Honors Cricketing Stalwarts
Tributes To Baichan, Durjan And Jumadeen
By John L. Aaron
Sept. 27th, 2008
The Indo-Caribbean Federation (ICF) held its annual cricket match
last week end at the spacious Floyd Bennett Cricket Field in Brooklyn.
Otherwise known as the Guyana versus Trinidad grudge match of the
year, the contest has begun to rival that of the Ed Ahmad Cricket
Cup, New York’s premier annual cricketing tournament. (Gallery)
Federation President Ralph Tamesh (left) with this year honorees
Raphick Jumadeen, Leonard Baichan and Vibert Durjan.
Trinidad and Tobago
of the members of the Indo-Caribbean Federation.
This year the
Indo-Caribbean Federation encouraged the use of younger players on
the two teams, and Guyana responded with several younger players than
those previously used in the annual match-up. According to Ralph Tamesh,
President of the Indo-Caribbean Federation, “…the use
of younger players will encourage other youngsters to want to play
on each of the two teams in the future.” Tamesh hopes that Trinidad
& Tobago employs the use of younger players in next year’s
Indo-Caribbean players have made and continue to make sterling contributions
to the sport of cricket both in the Caribbean, here in the United
States, and Canada, as well. And we have not even touched the South
Asian continent, in search of the larger contribution of Indian-born
players to the sport of cricket.
The Indo-Caribbean Foundation hosted the 19th such rivalry this year
by bringing out some of the best and brightest of New York cricketers
for a day of exciting cricket accompanied by the scores of fans on
the sidelines, all wearing coaching and consulting caps, while imbibing
in the warm spirits that eliminate lots of immediate worries, and
in return produces some of New York finest sideline cricket coaches.
This year the Indo-Caribbean federation chose Leonard Baichan, Vibert
Durjan and Raphick Jumadeen as the honorees commemorating the nineteenth
annual cricket match. Recognition awards were distributed at the half-way
mark of the day’s match, and under brilliant sunshine. An appreciative
group of fans in attendance cheered the kudos bestowed upon the former
players who have all made sterling contributions to the sport, in
Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago, but also the global Diaspora of
Leonard Baichan, a former left-hand batsman and right-arm medium pacer
from Guyana, played three Test matches for the West Indies between
1975 and 1976 with an average of 46.00. He has 4500 first-class runs
to his credit, including 13 centuries. The now 62 years-old former
player was known for his steadfastness as an opening and number three
batsman, who was not easily intimidated by the likes Australia’s
Lillee and Thompson. Were it not for the appearance of Roy Fredericks
and Gordon Greenidge on the scene and an unfortunate car accident,
Baichan may have made a more significant impact on West Indies cricket.
Now 60 years-old, Trinidad & Tobago’s left-arm spinner Raphick
Jumadeen represented his native Trinidad & Tobago and the West
Indies. The orthodox bowler played in 12 Test matches, capturing 29
scalps at an average of 39.34 per. His tenure as a Test player lasted
from 1972 through 1979. Now a West Indies selector, Jumadeen’s
career was interrupted by the utilization of the West Indies’
four-prong pace attack under the captaincy of Clive Lloyd in the 70s.
Nonetheless Raphick Jumadeen will always be remembered for his tidy
and often time stingy bowling spells, as his accuracy was well-rewarded.
Vibert Durjan, although not a Test player and of the same ilk as Jumadeen
and Baichan, made a valuable contribution to cricket in Guyana, while
playing for his club Demerara Cricket Club. A native of Albouystown
in the capital city of Georgetown in Guyana, Durjan or “Darjune”
as he was mistakenly called, was a very confident bowler who understood
his role and contributed as a team-player in his sojourns representing
the County of Demerara in Guyana.
Durjan, whose first-class career blossomed during the late 60’s
and early 70s was a crafty bowler, who often challenged the batsman
with deceptive deliveries, which often forced batsmen to play too
early or be beaten on occasion.
bestowed upon the three players of yester-year was a fitting acknowledgement
of the contributions they have made, both large and small.
I forgot for a moment that there was a match played alongside the
honoring of the three cricketers. Well, Trinidad & Tobago won
the toss and elected to take first strike, scoring a decent 209 for
the loss of five wickets in their allotted 40 overs. However, it was
the batting of the talented Richie Seiuchand who made 55, Tim Surujbally,
52, Ganesh Ramsingh, 43, and Jerry Jumadeen, 36 that were the main
contributors to the T&T tally.
Bowling for Guyana, Udesh Bisnauth 2 for 39 was the representative
South American nation’s strike bowler.
Guyana, in reply reached 210 for 7 and the victory, after stumbling
in some parts along the way. However, the brilliant batting of the
very in-form Zaheer Saffie, 76, steadied the craft, with worthwhile
contributions coming from the bats of Vickram Raichandra, 28, Karran
Ganesh, 22, and Quyaam Farooq, 15.
Bowling for Trinidad & Tobago, Gilbert Philip got 2 for 28 and
Jerry Jumadeen 2 for 43.
The Best Batsman award went to Ritchie Seiuchand for a well-made 55,
with the Best Bowler award to Gilbert Philips, 2 for 28. Zaheer Saffie
was adjudged the MVP of the match for his splendid knock of 76.
It was a fantastic day for cricket and the fans were treated to some
fine moments of the sport as the curtain came down on another successful
Indo-Caribbean annual cricket match, put on by the Indo-Caribbean
Federation and their many sponsors who contributed to a very fine
effort, free of cost to the public.
The presence of live commentary by the talented broadcast duo of Lenny
Achibar and Carl Bennett, along with a live on-air radio broadcast,
all contributed to a perfect event. Kudos to Ralph Tamesh, President
of the Indo-Caribbean Federation and his team, for a well-organized
and successful event.
Thank You Footnote
At a small reception ceremony held last Thursday evening in Queens,
the Indo-Caribbean Federation expressed its appreciation to Leonard
Baichan and Raphick Jumadeen, both of whom praised the humanitarian
work done the federation, while reminiscing about their playing days.
Jumadeen, now a West Indies Test selector acknowledged that the role
of a selector was not an easy one, but if the basic principles of
performance and suitability of the players were addressed, the job
of the selection panel would be made much easier. The former Trinidad
& Tobago cricketing star from a family of cricketing brothers
was gracious enough to address questions from the small group of cricket
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