Bourda always had a soft spot in his heart - Kanhai

By Donovan Matthews
Guyana Chronicle
April 21, 1999

THE newly refurbished Rohan Kanhai Stand at the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) ground, Bourda, was officially opened yesterday evening.

In the presence of a number of West Indian stars of yesteryear and local dignitaries, including Minister of Education Dale Bisnauth and Georgetown Mayor Hamilton Green, the former Guyana and West Indies batting maestro cut the ribbon to open the $77 million structure which was built by the GCC over a three-year period.

Kanhai, who was among the second batch of Guyanese inducted into the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Hall of Fame Tuesday night, in a short speech thanked the Board and the club for inviting him and his wife for the activities. He said cricket has been his life.

The Port Mourant-born Kanhai, who was also earlier in the week inducted into cricket's International Hall of Fame said Bourda has always had a soft spot in his heart, since it was on that ground that he scored his maiden first-class half-century and century.

Ronald Alli, who was part of the committee which supervised the building, gave a background to the project during which he expressed gratitude to the six sponsors who helped to make it a reality.

While praising GUYSUCO, the GTM Group of Companies, Toolsie Persaud Ltd, A. Gafoor and Sons, Guyana Stockfeeds Inc. and Scotia Bank, Alli said there is still need for a seventh sponsor so the lower area of the three-tier stand could have stadium-like seating.

Alli said the stand, as it is now, could comfortably seat 1 600 persons on the first deck, with the upper deck reserved for the seven sponsors' booths.

The stand also has waterproof floors as well as washroom facilities on each level.

Also making presentations yesterday were immediate past president of the GCC, Paul Chan-a-Sue, who did an appreciation of Kanhai; GCB president Chetram Singh; and GCC president Neil Singh, who gave the closing remarks.

The GCB president said the Rohan Kanhai stand was the most popular, always the first to be sold out, and hoped - like the GCC - that a seventh sponsor could be found so chairs can be put in place to help bring the stand on par with others in the region.

After prayers were said by the Rev. Oswald Trellis, Dean of Georgetown, and Pandit Jagmohan Persaud of the Guyana Hindu Dharma Sabha, Kanhai unveiled the plaque and, with the other dignitaries, ascended the eastern stairs of the new stand.

Later, in rapidly growing darkness, Kanhai was presented with a bouquet by Mrs Suscil Singh, wife of the GCC president.

Among the West Indian players of yesteryear present last evening were Sir Clyde Walcott, Lance Gibbs, Roy Fredericks and Sew Shivnarine.