Guyanese duo honoured for making first W.I. Test team
Stories by Ezra Stuart
Guyana Chronicle
June 24, 2003

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GROS ISLET, St Lucia - Guyanese duo ‘Maurice’ Fernandes and Cyril Browne were among eight members of the first-ever West Indies Test team who were posthumously honoured by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) here yesterday.

The WICB, in a low-key but emotional 20-minute ceremony at the Beausejour Cricket Ground presented a commemorative plaque with twin photographs of the inaugural West Indies side and the present regional team to relatives of the pioneering cricketers.

The presentations were made just after 1 p.m. on the scheduled fourth day of the first Cable and Wireless Test match between the West Indies and Sri Lanka, which has been marred by rain, which left the outfield at the Caribbean's newest Test venue, saturated.

The eight honourees were the Barbadian foursome of the 1928 side that played against England at Lord's, exactly 75 years ago -- Herman Griffith, George Challenor, Edward ‘Teddy’ Hoad and George Francis, Guyanese duo of Browne and Fernandes and Trinidadian pair Learie Constantine and Clifford Roach.

Browne's great-niece Maria King was the first to receive a presentation on behalf of the late Guyana and West Indies cricketer and she was followed by former Barbados batsman Mark Sealy, who accepted the plaque on behalf of his legendary grandfather, George Challenor.

There was plenty of applause from the sprinkling of die-hard fans in attendance when Gloria Valere stepped forward to accept on behalf of her father, the dynamic all-round Trinidadian cricketer, Learie Constantine.

Next up was Brian Camacho, who accepted a plaque for his uncle Maurice Fernandes, the former Guyana and West Indies captain and he was followed by EHC ‘Teddy’ Griffith, who received for his dad, Herman Griffith, the fiery Barbadian fast bowler.

It was then the turn of Tony Hoad to go forward and accept the award given to his father, Edward ‘Teddy’ Hoad, another outstanding former Barbados and West Indies all-rounder.

Another son, Peter Winter-Roach had the honour of accepting the prestigious award for his father, the legendary Trinidadian opening batsman Clifford Roach, who has the distinction of scoring the first century and double hundred by a West Indian in Test cricket.

Last but by no means least was Gloria Forde, who took great pride in receiving the award of her godfather, George Francis, who was Griffith's fast-bowling partner for Barbados and the West Indies.

Presentations to the relatives of four Jamaican members of the 1928 squad to Britain will be made during a similar ceremony during the second and final Cable and Wireless Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka, starting at Sabina Park in Jamaica on June 27.

The Jamaican quartet included captain of the first-ever West Indies side, Karl Nunes, Ernest Rae, Frank Martin and O.C. ‘Tommy’ Scott.

The presentations marked the start of the WICB's 75th anniversary celebrations, which are being held under the theme "Uniting the Region, Exciting the World."

The first Test ever played by a West Indies cricket team was contested on June 23, 25 and 26, 1928, at Lord's in England.

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