Albion’s first Test player and the ninth player from the Ancient County to play Test cricket, 57-year-old Sew Shivnarine, as he is popularly called, was honoured last Saturday for his contribution to cricket.
The main pavilion at the Albion Community Centre ground was renamed the Sew Shivnarine Pavilion during the ceremony. The right handed Shivnarine who was born on May 13, 1952 in Albion, Berbice played eight Test matches and scored 379 runs at an average of 29.15 and hit four half centuries. He played one ODI and scored 20 runs.
He played 49 first class matches, scored three centuries and 14 half centuries at an average of 32.56. He was also a slow left arm orthodox bowler who took one wicket in Tests and 67 in First Class matches with his best bowling figures being 4-29 at an average of 36.55.
The ceremony was attended by Government Ministers Dr. Frank Anthony and Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, Presidential Advisor Dr. Navin Chanderpal, Director of Sport Neil Kumar, Regional Director of GUYSUCO Jairam Petam and scores of overseas-based Guyanese and Berbice cricket fans.
The ceremony was organised by GUYSUCO, the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) and overseas-based friends and supporters of the former West Indies all-rounder.
Ministers Anthony and Ramsammy described Shivnarine as a cricketing hero and role model and expressed delight that he was being honoured since his contribution was outstanding during his career.
Anthony called on young cricketers present to emulate players like Shivnarine and to follow his theme of hard work, discipline and commitment. Ramsammy recalled playing cricket with the former all-rounder and hailed the organisation for hosting the event to recognise his friend’s contribution to the game.
Chanderpaul hailed the burly Shivnarine as a fine gentleman on and off the cricket field and expressed the hope that the USA-based former Test player would one day be involved in moulding talents in his hometown.
Director of Sport Kumar, who described Shivnarine as a personal friend, recalled his Test debut against Australia in 1978 at the Bourda Ground where he scored two half centuries.
Treasurer of the BCB Anil Beharry, who spoke on the Board’s behalf, hailed the contribution of the former Berbice all-rounder and described him as a trail blazer because he was the first cricketer from Albion to play Test cricket and led the way for Narsingh Deonarine and Sewnarine Chattergoon.
Petam of GUYSUCO stated that the company was honoured to be part of the ceremony to honour Shivnarine as he was a Berbice cricketing hero.
In an emotional reply to the many speeches at the ceremony to honour the cricket stalwart, Shivnarine stated that he was humbled by the award. He traced his career which took him from the small village of Albion to the highest level of Test cricket.
He expressed gratitude to all who guided and assisted him during his career and noted that to play Test cricket was a dream that came through for a little boy who dared to dream. Shivnarine expressed gratitude to his home club, GUYSUCO, the BCB and scores of his overseas-based friends who organised the event.
After the ceremony, he was joined by his family and close friend Bobby Deonarine in declaring open the Sew Shivnarine Main Pavilion.
Earlier in the day a specially arranged Twenty20 match was played in Shivnarine’s honour with the Rest of Berbice XI led by Assad Fudadin beating Albion by seven wickets.
Batting first Albion scored 112 off their allotted overs with Doodnauth Lallbeharry top scoring with 45 and Ramnarine Chattergoon 34.
Bowling for the Rest of Berbice XI team Stephen Latcha took 2-20 while Krisendat Ramoo had 2-11.
In reply the Rest of Berbice XI reached 115-3 with Delbert Hicks hitting an attractive unbeaten 40 and Rajiv Ivan 22 not out. Lallbeharry, Chattergoon, Hicks and Ivan received a pair of batting gloves each for their outstanding batting performances.
Latcha was voted Best Bowler while Lallbeharry was named Best Batsman. They each received a trophy while the winning team also received one from the organisers.