Authored by Professor Clem Seecharan, the history of cricket in Guyana Volume 2 is a “legacy project” to mark the 150th anniversary of the Hand in Hand Group of Companies.
This second volume with the catchline ‘A Stubborn Mediocrity’, encompasses the years, 1898-1948 with Volume One covering the period 1865 to 1897 and Hand in Hand Chairman John Carpenter said the company was proud to sponsor the publication.
The professor, a renowned historian, said that book is dedicated to five persons including Dr Yesu Persaud and Dr Pooran Singh who are still alive.
According to a DPI release, Professor Seecharan said, since records were not properly kept, writing the book “was a labour of love.” He recalled for example that photographs of teams from years past were not properly kept or archived.
Reading a few excerpts from his book, the professor explained that the efforts of the West Indies mirrored the struggles in the society decades ago. “1930 was the first year that the West Indies defeated England for the first time; that is the kind of tradition we come from.”
He noted that the efforts of Roger Harper and Lance Gibbs, for example, were influenced from the decades previously. Interestingly, Professor Seecharan juxtaposed the eradication of malaria with the rise of local cricketers to even greater heights and called for a greater commitment to research and hard work.
Guest speaker and former West Indian cricketer Lancelot Richard Gibbs, who had his regional debut in 1954 and test debut in 1958, said older versions of the game such as, “get the ball first, bowl to bat” and “two tip and run” were what laid the foundation of cricket success years ago. Offering some advice, Gibbs said the West Indies team needed to build their stamina, study their opponents and do research.
The book’s launch at the Georgetown Cricket Club was described by Minister of Social Cohesion, with responsibility for sports, Dr. George Norton as an unveiling of another fine piece of work by the author.
“Your books help us to appreciate the importance of cricket in Guyana.”
The minister noted that “very few cricket lovers understand where we came from,” as he recalled when ‘non-whites’ were not permitted to play the game. He noted the game’s progression and saluted the efforts of the Women’s T20 team as he cited their performance within the evolving landscape. Minister Norton further commended the efforts of the author and that of corporate entities such as Hand in Hand.
Copies of the book were presented to representatives of the National Archives, the University of Guyana, National Library and National Trust.