– Signs books, engages fans in interactive season
By Sean Devers
AT age 74, former Berbice, Guyana and West Indies captain, Alvin Kallicharran, has not lost any of his wit and sense of humour as was evident during over an hour long interactive session with his fans at the Georgetown Cricket Club’s (GCC) pavilion last Thursday evening.
Kallicharran, who played 66 Test Matches for the West Indies between 1972 and 1981, scoring 12 centuries, is in Guyana, along with Tony Mcwatt, the author of his book ‘Alvin Kallicharran Guyana’s Pocket Dynamo Little Giant.’
Kallicharran, who grew up in the Corentyne Village of Port Mourant, is here to promote his book and, on Thursday Evening, he provided a ‘pep’ talk to the young cricketers of GCC.
Kallicharran, one of 16 GCC players to represent West Indies in Test cricket, emphasised the importance of practicing for long hours and about the value of a sound technique and good shot selection.
The little batting maestro, who captained West Indies to India in 1978 when Clive Lloyd took an almost full strength rebel team to the Kerry Packer World Series in Australia, autographed his books which were sold for US$15 with 30 per cent of sales from the books going to the Club’s fundraising drive.
Kallicharran, who played 31 ODIs, including the 1975 and 1979 World Cups, answered questions from the gathering which included the India High Commissioner, Dr K.J Srinivasa, and disclosed that Jeff Thomson and Michael Holding were the fastest bowlers in his time while Andy Roberts was the best. Kallicharran played in a team which included Roberts, Holding, Croft and Garner.
“Roberts was the father of West Indies fast bowling. In team meetings (Clive) Lloyd would ask the bowlers what were their plans for the opposition batsmen. Roberts would often reveal his plans to the others who would then say we will do what he does” said Kallicharran, one of 18 Berbician to play Test Cricket.
One of seven players from Port Mourant to play Test and one of four of the greatest West Indian batters from that club, Kallicharran said the best Indian batsman was Sunil Gavaskar and told the gathering about his time in India when he toured with the West Indies team.
“We were there in the airport and the others had gone to the VIP lounge, I was looking around the airport and as I attempted to enter the room I was prevented from doing so since I was mistaken for a local Indian taken away by the police. The next day guys got a cardboard and wrote ‘WEST Indian’ on it and hung it around my neck” revealed Kallicharran, evoking loud laughter for his audience.