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anniversary celebrations of West Indies' entry into Test cricket with a
colourful parade at Kensington Oval.
A march past by the band of the Barbados Defence Force, flag waving
Scotiabank Kiddy cricketers, and a brief ceremony during the lunch
interval of the first Cable & Wireless One-Day International between West Indies and Sri Lanka all formed part of the launch.
The celebrations will be held in partnership with the University of the West Indies and with sponsorship from Shell Antilles & Guianas Ltd,
current sponsors of the Shell Cricket Academy of the St. George's University in Grenada, as well as support from the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
The activities under the theme "75 Years of Windies Test Cricket:
Uniting the Region., Exciting the World", will have an educational focus to build awareness of the rich West Indies cricket legacy.
Rev. Wes Hall, President of the WICB, at the launch noted that on June
23 during St. Lucia's historic first Test match the WICB would celebrate the actual anniversary of the first West Indies Test match with a special tribute to the 1928 team.
Presentations will be made to representatives of their families who
are being invited to St Lucia.
Similar presentations will be made at Sabina Park during the Second Cable & Wireless Test Match between West Indies and Sri Lanka to representatives of the families of the members of the 1928 team from Jamaica.
The WICB will also be launching a commemorative book entitled, A
Nation Imagined, by Professor Hilary Beckles, a noted cricket historian and Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, and opening a photographic exhibition in Jamaica on June 28.
The exhibition will also be taken to other parts of the region during the year and there will be historic quizzes for children and adults, as well as newspaper supplements, television and radio features throughout the region to celebrate the anniversary.
Rev. Hall said while it was an honour to be President of the WICB, it was a very special privilege to be responsible for giving appropriate effect to the 75th anniversary of West Indies Test status.
He observed that while we are celebrating the first steps onto the Test field on June 23, 1928 at Lord's in England, it was also important to be aware of the many records set including the more recent ones of 375 in an innings by Brian Lara and 519 Test career wickets by Courtney Walsh.
Hall, a former West Indies fast bowler, noted that the West Indies
were granted Test status after the foundation built by players such as Sir Learie Constantine, George Challenor, George Francis and Herman
Griffith, all members of the first Test team.
"The West Indies then went on to produce icons such as the
quintessential George Headley, the legendary Three Ws, Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Everton Weekes and Sir Clyde Walcott; Sonny Ramadhin and Alf Valentine," Hall said.
He added: "There was also the incomparable Sir Garfield Sobers and
Lance Gibbs, extraordinary men of speed in Charlie Griffith, Michael
Holding, Malcolm Marshall, Colin Croft, Andy Roberts and Joel Garner; as well as batsmen who set global standards like Sir Viv Richards, Rohan Kanhai, Desmond Haynes, Gordon Greenidge, Lawrence Rowe and Clive Lloyd, as well as great wicket-keepers like Franz Alexander, Jackie Hendriks, Deryck Murray, Jeff Dujon and Mike Findlay."
West Indies has produced 251 Test cricketers over the last 75 years,
but the first West Indies 11 comprised Karl Nunes (captain), Challenor,
Freddie Martin, Maurice Fernandes, Wilton St. Hill, Clifford Roach,
Constantine, Joe Small, Cyril Browne, Francis and Griffith.