GCB Annual Awards Ceremony
Lloyd: ‘Success is a journey not a destination'
• Ex-Windies skipper impressed with World Cup preparations
By Sean Devers
December 14, 2006
Former Guyana and West Indies captain Clive Hubert Lloyd was refreshingly eloquent in delivering the feature address at Thursday evening's Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Annual Awards Ceremony at the Umana Yana in Kingston.
Guest speaker at the event, Lloyd also presented the trophy named in his honour (for senior regional cricketer of the year) to Ramnaresh Sarwan - one of the few occasions in which the person in whose name the trophy was dedicated was on hand to present the accolade to the winner.
Lloyd spoke on a wide range of topics, and used the opportunity to laud the efforts of the Local Organizing Committee for Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2007, the Government and various stakeholders in the mega event for ensuring that Guyana is ready to face the challenges of hosting the world's third largest sporting spectacle, next March and April.
He philosophised: “Sport is a cutting edge to progress and a vital component for peace and unity, and while the construction of the stadium and the hosting of the world cup are very important to Guyana 's future we should remember that success is a journey, not a destination.”
Lloyd detoured, quite undestandably, to commend the Guyana Football Federation for showing great initiative in acquiring the expertise of Trinidadian Jamal Shabazz as technical director of its national unit.
The 62-year-old cricketing great said it was a privilege for him to be present at Bourda when his son Jason made his national debut as a football goalkeeper on a ground where he made his debut as a first-class cricketer, some 42 years ago.
He said his son, who is based in England , was very impressed with the professionalism in local football, adding that with the new stadium being constructed, it was good to see Bourda becoming a main venue for the sport.
The burly left-hander said he was impressed with the structural work at the Providence Stadium and was high in praise of the developments at Buddy's Hotel and the recently opened Kunuku Suites as the hospitality industry, prepares with commitment for the World Cup.
He told the gathering that the event would afford the greatest opportunity to showcase the country and to convince the world that it is a safe and secure place, where investors would want to commit their time and finances.
Lloyd, the only captain to hoist two world cups in triumph, also stressed that everyone has to work together, reminding that the massive undertaking would most likely provide Guyana with a viable source for economic benefits.
He urged the relevant authorities to consider the stadium and world cup as phase one while looking at a phase two of sports development, which entails a long overdue state-of-the-art facility equipped with an international-size swimming pool along with cycling and athletics tracks.
“CLR James once said the greatest part of a performance is played in the mind and we can achieve anything if we put our mind and energies to it. The only place that success is found before work is in the dictionary” Lloyd pointed out.
He added that education was an important tool for personal upliftment and national development, and urged the youth of Guyana to never neglect that important aspect of their lives.
Lloyd said the late Sir Clyde Walcott might have made the most significant contribution to Guyana 's cricket when he came here in 1964 to work with the Booker Sugar Estates.
“Sir Clyde left his comfortable office in the city to travel to the rural areas where cricketers were many times overlooked and in the process unearthed talent like Rohan Kanhai, Basil Butcher, Joe Solomon and Ivan Madray. His work in those areas has helped produce modern-day players like Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine and Sewnarine Chattergoon,” he stated.
Lloyd said that he was confident that on April 28 the West Indies would be in the World Cup final.
“I am confident we can reach the final and I hope this is one final that we will win,”
Lloyd was given a standing ovation.
GCB Secretary Bishwa Panday had earlier provided the audience with a wonderful background to Lloyd's career, reminiscing when the strongly-built batsman arrived at Bourda by helicopter and scored a century against Trinidad and Tobago .
Panday also explained that the GCB considered Lloyd as a thoroughly suitable candidate for the WICB Presidency but could not acquire the support of some of the other regional boards.
GCB President Chetram Singh preceded Panday with a comprehensive review of local cricket during the year, describing 2006 as “the year of cricket millions”.
“Although rain affected a lot of our local cricket, this was the year we won the first-ever million-dollar prize in the Stanford 20/20 competition, before Shapoorji Pallonji (the Indian company contracted to build the Providence Stadium) pumped $2.4 million into a local 20/20 competition with Young Warriors of Berbice being the first winners,” Singh informed.
He also revealed that the GCB bought equipment to aid in the preparation and development of grounds in the country, and a bus, with money received from the Stanford programme.
Singh congratulated the national under-19 team for winning the regional title for the first time since 1997 and remarked that the senior team reached the semi-finals of the Carib Beer first-class tournament and the inaugural 20/20 competition.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony promised that from March 28, Guyana would put on the biggest show in it recent contemporary history by successfully hosting the six super eight matches in the CWC.
He informed the large audience that since 1998 when discussions were held regarding hosting of the world cup, 60 acres of cane field had been cleared, and US$25M acquired to build a state-of-the-art stadium with a capacity of 15,000.
The Minister declared that the Stadium is now 99% completed.
Dr Anthony also opined that washed out matches, often associated with cricket at Bourda due to rain, would most likely be a thing of the past.
“I think the Bourda curse has been cured! The Providence stadium has an excellent drainage system capable of removing six inches of surface water per hour which means that matches should not be affected once the rain stops,”
Minister Anthony also said that progress could at times be challenging and frustrating but assured that the LOC and Government have never been deterred while reminding all Guyanese of the many economic and social spin-offs the world cup will provide.
He also urged Guyanese to purchase tickets for what could be a once-in-a-lifetime event, saying that a window of opportunity is only available for a short period and should be capitalised on.
LOC chairman Karan Singh and Director of Sports Neil Kumar were also among those entertained by performances from the National Dance School and National Dance Company.
Ramnaresh Sarwan led the list of Awardees while Gajanand Singh, arguably the country's best teenage batsman, took the Junior Cricketer of the year award and Roy Fredericks trophy.
Ramnaresh Sarwan - Senior Regional Cricketer of the Year (Clive Lloyd Trophy - 2006)
Deon Ferrier -Senior Domestic Cricketer of the Year (Rohan Kanhai Trophy)
Gajanand Singh -Junior Cricketer of the Year (Roy Fredericks Trophy)
Esuan Crandon -Most Improved Player (Lance Gibbs Trophy)
Albion Community Centre - Club of the Year (President's Trophy)
Mr. Michael Franco (Hyles) - For continued commitment to the development of cricket through coaching
Mr. Fazal Ishak -For his dedicated service to GCB
Mr. Morris Brandon (Deceased) - Posthumously awarded for services rendered in an administrative capacity
Clyde Duncan –for his elevation to the ICC umpiring panel
Grantley Culbard- for role as match referee
Demerara Distillers Limited - For the development of cricket in Guyana through sponsorship
Guyana Beverage Inc. - For the development of cricket in Guyana through sponsorship
Shapoorji Pallonji - For sponsorship of an exceptional standard in the countrywide 20/20 cricket competition.