Preserving our cricketing heritage

Recently I paid a visit to Trinidad and while there made a remarkable discovery. I was invited to the Queens Park Cricket Club which in my youth had been a favourite place. Great uncles on my mother’s side of the family had been founding members of that famous Club and as a boy I went there to see our West Indian cricket heroes play. Sweet are the memories. The Oval in sunlight. The green mountains in the background. The buzz of excitement in the schoolboys’ stand and the quiet, quiet as the first ball bowled. I remember seeing Andy Ganteaume make his famous century against England in 1948 in the only Test innings he was ever allowed to play. I remember the grace of Worrell, the thunder of Walcott, the elegance of Stollmeyer, Robert Christiani dancing down the pitch to hit boundary after boundary, the wiles of Ferguson, the deftness of Rupert Tang Choon in the field, the fast bowling of Lance Pierre smooth as velvet. So many heroes. So many memories came back as I visited after so long.

I found the QPCC completely changed, expanded, modernized, transformed since I was a boy. I talked to the CEO, Richard Mowser, and was shown around. It is a vibrant place, humming with activity, a centre of cricket but also an important venue for hockey, football, squash and I think I saw a notice advertising CrossFit training. The Club is practical about raising money by letting out its excellent facilities and it shows every sign of being a well-run commercial enterprise which Clubs have to be these days. With cricket at its heart still, long may Queens Park evolve and thrive.

But I was there primarily to visit the QPCC Cricket Heritage Museum. Before my visit I had not even known this museum existed. Quite simply, it is a marvel, a revelation, a place every West Indian cricket lover should find the time to visit and be enthralled. I spent a few glorious hours there in the company of the museum’s Curator, Stephen Almandoz, who does the …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.

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