Legendary former West Indies batsman batsman Brian Lara underscored the value of Queen’s Park Cricket Club to West Indies and world cricket at the club’s 125th anniversary celebration at the Hilton Trinidad on Saturday night.
QPCC’s favourite son lit up the black tie event which was attended by two former West Indies greats in Sir Gary Sobers and Sir Everton Weekes, as well as Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar who also delivered an address on the occasion. Also attending was the entire West Indies cricket team, who is in Trinidad playing against India in the Seagrams Test series.
Lara traced the club’s deep history speaking of great players who would have passed through the gates at Tragarete Road.
“I was interested in the club’s history. Gerry Gomez had a liking for me, so he, Willie Rodriquez and Bryan Davis use to sit with me and chat about the club.” Lara was able to take the gathering through a detailed history of the club.
“This club has produced 40 Test cricketers which is a tremendous feat for any club to achieve across the world. The club has made a tremendous contribution to me and has opened many doors for me and for this I am thankful.
“We have had many players coming through and going on to do wonderful things in world cricket and we as Parkites are very proud indeed.”
Lara recalled his first Test innings at the Queen’s Park Oval, when he was dismissed by Pakistani Asif Mujtaba on 96 and said the members had to wait for another 10 years before he finally got a Test century at the Oval and it came against Australia.
He heaped praises on Joey Carew who took him in, while at Fatima College and assisted in his development as a cricketer. “Joey Carew’s love for Queen’s Park was second to none and his love for cricket was pleasurable. He did a lot for the club and was really a great tactician who truly understood the game of cricket.”
Meanwhile, Gavaskar who had a brilliant Test career and mastered the West Indies at the Queen’s Park Oval on many occasions said that T20 cricket is no threat to Test cricket as there is a place for all formats. “There was also the same worry when one day cricket came about but Test cricket survived and now comes the T20 and there is the same worry. I think that Test cricket is in no danger because of T20 and in fact we need to use all formats to build the sport.”