Colourful, nostalgic start to 2007 World Cup …
World Cup members of 1975 and 1979 teams honoured
March 14, 2007
KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – It was with a mixture of nostalgia and expectation that the first match of the CWC ICC Cricket World Cup got under way at Sabina Park here.
Excited fans rose with the dawning of the day and converged on historic Sabina from the East, West, North and South of the capital city.
They poured onto North Street and down South Camp Road with many heading straight for the stand named for that icon of the West Indian game, George ‘Atlas’ Headley.
Others, dressed lightly and brightly for the party atmosphere, made their way to the grassy mound in the shadow of a new giant electronic scoreboard. Yet others made their way over to the giant temporary South West stand and some to the spanking new North stand.
Mostly a partisan crowd, they were not reticent about expressing their unbridled joy at witnessing the first World Cup to be hosted by the Caribbean, and expectations of a successful start for the home team.
The Pakistani fans in attendance, buoyed by a recent run of good returns against the Wes Indies, were no less confident.
The nostalgic inspiration for the morning’s start was provided, appropriately, by the surviving members of the West Indies teams that won the inaugural World Cup in 1975 and the second in 1979.
Led by Clive Lloyd, captain on both occasions, the other team members present were Rohan Kanhai, Lance Gibbs, Deryck Murray, Sir Vivian Richards, Vanburn Holder, Alvin Kallicharran, Gordon Greenidge, Collis King, Colin Croft, Faoud Bacchus, Maurice Foster, Larry Gomes, Bernard Julian, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, and Joel Garner. Desmond Haynes who participated in the 1979 World Cup was absent.
These maroon clad stars of the dominant era of West Indies cricket marched like giants onto the lush outfield of the renovated Sabina Park to thunderous applause from the fans.
There, in a brief ceremony, they were again hailed for their achievements by Ken Gordon, president of the West Indies Cricket Board and presented with commemorative medallions by Malcolm Speed, chief executive of the International Cricket Council and Portia Simpson-Miller, Jamaica’s Prime Minister.
Percy Sonn, the ICC president, in a re-enactment of the 1975 and 1979 triumphs, symbolically presented Clive Lloyd once again with the World Cup trophy.
Lloyd, in brief remarks, said it was a privilege to have led the team into battle on behalf of the people of the region and wished similar joy for his successor of this generation.
The joyful reminiscence also was tempered with sombre reflection, as the former captain recalled the memories of those who have passed on – Roy Fredericks, Keith Boyce, and Malcolm Marshall, along with Sir Clyde Walcott, manager for both the 1975 and 1979 World Cup.