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Sir Everton Weekes, one of the greatest players ever to play for the West Indies, has thrown his support behind the regional team.Sir Everton Weekes, one of the greatest players ever to play for the West Indies, has thrown his support behind the regional team. He stated that despite the recent poor run of the team he has full confidence in the their ability to turn their fortunes around.

Sir Evertons comments came during his tribute to Kensington Oval, during the Forever Kensington tribute, which was held on Tuesday night, prior to yesterdays start of the major reconstruction to get the ground ready to host the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007. People tend to put you do very quickly, especially in Barbados, when you dont perform well. You would have noticed recently that Barbadians did not come out to see the test match because they didnt like the way our boys were performing.

"I think that we should rally around them. I think that they will come good again," he added.

With the understanding that Kensington Oval will be transformed into a modern facility capabl e of hosting major events of all kinds, fans were also assured that the majesty and history of the great ground will always be a part of the Barbadian landscape.

That was the major theme which came across during the 'Forever Kensington' tribute, wh ich featured reflections on the history of Kensington Oval, from members of the Pickwick Cricket Club, and from Barbadian legends, who vividly recounted their best memories of the ground.

The longest serving member of Pickwick Cricket Club, Arthu r Bethell gave a brief overview of the history of Kensington Oval and of Pickwick Cricket Club. The efforts of Pickwick members and others, in improving the quality of the playing area at Kensington should not be overlooked and from very early in the 20t h century, Kensington Oval was considered and still is the best cricket ground in the island. In 1914, the land known as the Kensington Cricket ground was purchased from the trustees of the will of Mr. Alleyne ... for 220 pounds .... The ground was lease d to the Pickwick Cricket Club. The lease was renewed on a number of occasions, the last being 1954 for a period of 50 years, he added.

CEO of World Cup Barbados, Stephen Alleyne gave the vision behind why Kensington Oval was selected to be the fo cal point of Barbados bid to host matches in CWC 2007. I, and I imagine most Barbadians would find it very hard to see the finals of Crickets World Cup in 2007, played in Barbados at a site other than this hallowed turf. Two billion viewers from all ar ound the world looking on at our cricket island. I think this is the place that they want to see. Kensington, in the end, is a brand which cannot be ignored and the World Cup gives us an opportunity to enhance this brand into something which we and genera tions to come will be proud of, he said.

The night also featured video tributes and former players Joel Garner and Reverend Wes Hall, recounted their fondest memories at the ground. Hall has been immortalised in the Hall and Griffith Stand with hi s bowling partner for many years, Charlie Griffith. He stated that his record at the ground was not what he had hoped that it would be, due primarily, he thought to his trying to hard to do well in front of his home crowd. Joel Garner, after whom the nort hern end of the ground had been named, told of bowling with a plan at Kensington Oval and of his battle with West Indian great, Lawrence Rowe. A video tribute was also paid to Sir Garfield Sobers.

The evening also featured thrilling performances by Rosie Hunte, who wowed the crowd with renditions of Simply the best and Beautiful and Unspoilt. Arturo Tappin also turned in excellent performances, as did Cultural Ambassador, the Mighty Gabby.

The evening ended with the handing over of the keys to Kensington Oval to World Cup Barbados Chairman Chris DeCaires and also the lights being turned off in all of the stands on the ground.

Web Posted - Thu Jun 02 2005
By Dorian Bryan

Compliments of the Barbados Advocate


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