By Jawad Hussain
The members of Cricket Hall of Fame Committee include Executive Director Mr. Michael Chambers, Director Mr. Dolton James, Ph.D., Treasurer Mr. Ovid John, Public Relations Director Mr. Stanford Walker, Program Coordinator Mr. Pauline Davis, Directors Errol Archer and George Steir. The other Committee Members are Mr. Curtis Clarke, Mr. Mahadeo Ajodhi, and Mr. Carmen Varhalka as well as Florida representative Rev. Ouida McDonald. The New York Hall of Fame Committee includes Chairperson Mr. Lloyd Dixon, Mr. Mascelles Bailey, Mr. Hugh Pitter, Mr. Cliff Roye, Mr. Charles Simpson, Mr. Godfrey Mitchell, Mr. Samuel Belnavis, Mr. John Aaron, and Roslyn Emmanuel.
This year the list of inductees into the Hall of Fame includes President Cricket West Indies Mr. Dave Cameron, New York Councilman Mr. Alan Maisel, Mr. John Mitchell from Pioneer Cricket Club in New York, Mr. Shah Zafar (who is actively involved in administration of cricket in Canada), Former President of the New York Cricket Umpires Association Mr. Fitzroy Hayles, President Eastern New York Cricket League Mr. Rudy Persaud, Founder Cornwall Cricket Club in New York Mr. Byron Chambers, Jamaica and West Indies Representative Mr. Leonard Chambers, Former American captain Mr. Richard Staple, New York Radio Announcer Mr. John Melbourne, New York’s well-known cricketer Mr. Trevor Walke, Former President Connecticut Cricket League Mr. Curtis Clarke, and Former West Indian captain Mr. James Adams.
During the induction ceremony, Mr. Bishop Riley of Freedom Hall Church of God in Brooklyn, New York and Mr. Dennis Hawthorne of Dennis Shipping in Brooklyn, New York will also be conferred Presidential Awards.
Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Sir Hilary Beckles, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017, will be the special guest of the 37th Induction Ceremony this year.
A group of visionary Hartford cricketers established the Hall of Fame back in February 1981. The first Annual Cricket Hall of Fame Induction Dinner was held at the Hartford Holiday Inn Hotel on October 17, 1981. Mr. James Gabriel, John Law, Lloyd Walford, Alfred Valentine, Lance Gibbs, and Wesley Hall were the first breed of cricket legends to get inducted into the elite club of Hall of Famers.
The institution was revived in 1997 by Mr. Linford Miller and under the leadership of former Sportsmen’s President Michael Chambers and Joslyn Chance, it became an active organization. Since its revival, the Hall of Fame has inducted several international cricket stars. The institution has also been on the front foot to assist a number of charity organizations, including the raising of more than 400,000 surgical gloves for caregivers working with AIDS-infected children in Jamaica.
Executive Director, Cricket Hall of Fame, Michael Chambers has thanked the financers and supporters of the institution ahead of the big night. “It is you, our sponsors and supporters, who over the years have made this Annual Induction Ceremony possible. Each year, the Hall can count on your continued support in the form of your attendance at the ceremony and your purchase of advertisements in our program booklet. As a result of your support, the Hall is able to salute and honor those individuals who have continued to assist in the growth and development of cricket in the United States of America and in in the international arena.”
President, Cricket Hall of Fame, Shirley Mathews, said, “The Cricket Hall of Fame was founded in 1981 to honor those who have made outstanding performances in the beloved sport, to help foster the game’s growth and development in the USA, and also those who have made recognizable contributions in their communities”.
The list of the past inductees into the Cricket Hall of Fame includes some of the biggest names that have ever honored the game of cricket. Starting from the West Indian legend Sir Garfield Sobers, the list includes players like Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Clyde Walcott, Sir Wesley Hall, Sir Vivian Richards, Gundappa Viswanath, Joel Garner, Alvin Kallicharran, Gordon Greenidge, Farokh Engineer, Goerge Headley, Lance Gibbs, Sunil Gavaskar, Mushtaq Mohammed, Tony Greig, Desmond Haynes, Steve Bucknor, Jeffrey Dujon, Colin Croft, Ajit Wadekar, and Courtney Walsh.