ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Organisers for the week of activities to celebrate the 60th birthday of the country’s only living national hero, Sir Vivian Richards, have announced the inclusion of former West Indies captain and record holder for the highest First Class score, Brian Lara.
Lara, according to one member of the planning committee, Zorol Barthley, will join three cricket legends along with another former player here in Antigua as they celebrate with Sir Viv.
The Trinidadian is expected to give the feature address at a banquet slated for next week.
“Sir Ian Botham, Sir Richard Hadley, Sir Garfield Sobers and Sir Everton Weekes will be here and they should arrive on March 6 and will participate in the golf tournament on March 7; that’s the Wednesday or the ‘Pink It Day,’” he said.
“Sir Everton doesn’t play golf but he will be here and be supporting and we also captured a major signing where at the State Banquet to be held on the evening of Thursday March 8, Brian Lara, double world record holder who would have had those records here at the ARG, will deliver the feature address.”
According to Barthley, the campaign starts Wednesday, as specially printed T-shirts will be on sale during Antigua & Barbuda’s Friendly International against Trinidad and Tobago at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds (SVRCG).
The committee, Barthley said, has secured permission from Antigua & Barbuda Football Association (ABFA), a sport once played by Sir Viv, to sell the commemorative shirts during the country’s first warm-up match as they prepare for the semi-final round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
“At the football tomorrow (Wednesday), we will have permission to sell the commemorative T-shirts for the event so patrons going to football can pick up their T-shirts. They are $40 each, pink in colour. They are dated T-shirts. They have Sir Viv’s autograph on them. The breast cancer slogan – the Pink It slogan – it’s a one of a kind and we really hope that nationals take the opportunity to assist the fund-raising with regards to breast cancer and Breast Friends,” he said.
The weeklong festivities will begin March 3 with the Breast Friends – Antigua walk from historical Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG), where Sir Viv made the fastest Test century to SVRCG. The highlight of the week will be the Breast Cancer Awareness event ‘Pink It Day’ on March 7, where Antiguans and Barbudans and fans across the globe will be asked to wear pink and/or purchase one of the specially commissioned ‘Pink It’ T-shirts that will be available from February 27. All proceeds raised will go to Breast Friends – Antigua.
On March 7, there will also be an Invitational Golf Tournament at Cedar Valley Golf Club that will feature three of the four other living cricketing knights.
The week of activities will also include a joint church service with Sir McLean Emmanuel, who is celebrating 50 years as a calypsonian. Sir Viv celebrates on March 7. (Antigua Observer)