My three! By Pryor Jonas
Stabroek News
October 6, 2001

Here they are in chronological sequence: Worrell, Sobers and Lara. Tell me, what's yours? At the end of this piece, I'll attempt the impossible: placing them in order of merit. But first let me give you the selections of three gentlemen whose judgment I respect, since they know their cricket. What's more, they did challenge me by giving me their own order of merit. First, Frederick Ramprashad: Worrell, Headley and Kanhai. Next, Dennis Beepat: Miandad, Lara and Hooper. Third, Orin Davidson: Kanhai, Lloyd, Lara.

That's Clive Hubert, whose mum from birth would call him Hubert, but whom the cricketing fraternity always honours as Clive the supercat, for his brilliant fielding as a young man patrolling the covers, and still revere him as captain extraordinaire for his exploits of the mid-eighties. My young men have researched that West Indies side who whitewashed England. Read: Greenidge, Haynes, Gomes, Richards, Lloyd, Dujon, Marshall, Baptiste, Harper, Holding and Garner.

As for Mr Davidson, every Guyanese fan knows our SN Sports Editor, if only for his popular weekly column `Eye on Sports'. And every Guyanese housewife who shops in town seeking the best bargains for her home, knows of Beepat's in Regent street and of business tycoon Mr Beepat whose interest in sport is not confined to cricket or the GCC but who has been our country's main benefactor in Bridge and has captained Guyana several times in that discipline with successes that haven't been given sufficient prominence in our local press. Mr Ramprashad SC, was before my time, really. I knew him when I was a junior teacher as well as Games Master at school where his two boys made him proud, not only in the field of play but also in the classroom. He, himself, once headed the Guyana Cricket Board of Control and many cricket fans - all hardworking, though semi-skilled, struggling to make ends meet will have a fond place still in their hearts for his Life Seat boon. Many have criticised him, I know. But many more who could ill?afford the cost of a single day's play, still applaud him for his vision. Frederick Ramprashad is the eldest statesman of the group. Remember, he alone saw Headley here at Bourda in 1930 in that most memorable of Test matches when Mas' George scored a hundred in each innings for his side - a side superlatively led by a certain Maurius Pacheco Fernandes. With Ramprashad as eldest statesman. Dennis Beepat will be elder statesman - like myself. He chose Miandad first, and believe me Javed Miandad, of Karachi, Sind, Sussex, Glamorgan, Hyderabad, and Pakistan, former captain and coach of his country bat - yes, really bat! My records show that no Pakistani has averaged 50 in Test cricket - but Javed Miandad.

My young men, who now do most of the research for me, tell me that in the first Test match West Indies vs. Pakistan, played at Bourda in 1988, which Pakistan won by 9 wickets, Miandad scored a century. His was the only ton in the game. Dennis Beepat must have seen that knock. For there were these two criteria I asked my invitees to follow in their selection: (1) Their options must have been seen in action here at Bourda. (So it's not what they have read or seen on TV or heard others talk about, it's flesh-observing flesh, in the flesh)

(2) They must impose upon themselves the following menomonee T-E-S-T-S (with a 1-10 rating for each T- temperament; E - efficiency; S - style; T - technique; S - sportsmanship.

Accepting these two criteria, please tell me your three. Finally, here is my `impossible' order of merit: Sobers, Lara and Worrell. Until next week...