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Indo-Caribbean 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)

Indo-Caribbean Federation President Ralph Tamesh (left) with this year honorees Raphick Jumadeen, Leonard Baichan and Vibert Durjan.

Team Guyana

Team Trinidad and Tobago

Some 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 match.

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.

The Honorees
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 the Caribbean...

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.

The recognition bestowed upon the three players of yester-year was a fitting acknowledgement of the contributions they have made, both large and small.

The Match
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 Awards
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 enthusiasts present.

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