St John’s, Antigua – President of the West Indies Cricket Board, Mr. Dave Cameron has pledged the assistance of the regional governing body towards the setting up of a permanent secretariat for the Leeward Islands Cricket Association (LICA).
Speaking at the LICA 100th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony at the Grand Royal Antiguan Resort on Saturday evening last, Cameron said: "The WICB is prepared and willing to assist with the setting up of a permanent secretariat for LICA here in Antigua."
Speaking prior to the WICB Head, Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Education, Sports, Youth and Gender Affairs, Senator, The Honourable Winston Williams Jr announced that his government has given a commitment to provide office space to house the LICA Secretariat in Antigua and "will also provide certain amenities to operationalize the office".
Cameron also said that he was prepared to take to the WICB Board of Directors a proposal on how the regional body can assist in strengthening cricket in the Leewards and urged that the proposal is completed by LICA in short order.
The newly elected WICB President also congratulated LICA for being the forerunners to formal competitive structured inter-island cricket in the West Indies and highlighted that the 100th anniversary was the first of its kind being formally celebrated in West Indies Cricket.
Present at the event was fast bowling legend Mr. Andy Roberts along with the first man from the Leewards to play for West Indies Mr. Elquemedo Willett.
The function was also attended by the Premier of Nevis The Honourable Vance Amory and Ministers of Sport in Nevis, The Honourable Hazel Brandy-Williams and Montserrat The Honourable Colin Riley and Vice President of the WICB Mr. Emmanuel Nanthan and Directors of the WICB Gregory Shillingford – also President of LICA – and Enoch Lewis.
LICA held the gala event to celebrate 100 years of organized cricket among the islands in the Leeward Islands. Teams initially played for the Hesketh Bell Shield in honour of the then Governor of the Leeward Islands – Sir Hesketh Bell.
The Leeward Islands team began playing First Class cricket in 1958. Between 1966 and 1981 the Leeward Islands and Windward Islands competed in regional cricket as Combined Islands. After the Combined Islands won the regional tournament in 1981, they were again split up into the Leewards Islands and Windwards Islands. Dominica was initially part of the Leeward Islands but now forms part of the Windward Islands.
REMARKS OF PRESIDENT OF THE WICB MR. WHYCLIFFE ‘DAVE’ CAMERON
AT THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS OF THE
LEEWARD ISLANDS CRICKET ASSOCIATION
ROYAL ANTIGUAN, ANTIGUA, APRIL 6, 2013
Master of Ceremonies King Frank I, Premier of Nevis The Honourable Vance Amory, Honourable Ministers of Sport, Senator Winston Williams of Antigua and Barbuda, Hazel Brandy-Williams of Nevis and Colin Riley of Monsterrat, Vice President of the West Indies Cricket Board His Excellency Ambassador Emmanuel Nanthan, President of LICA and WICB Director, Mr. Gregory Shillingford, WICB Director Mr. Enoch Lewis, Former Vice President of the WICB Mr. Clarvis Joseph, President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association Mr. Zorol Barthley , presidents and executives of LICA, the ABCA and all other members boards, Mr. Andy Roberts and Elquemedo Willett, legends of West Indies and Leeward Islands cricket, former and current players, former international umpire Mr. Basil Morgan, match officials, administrators, members of the media, well wishers, friends all.
It is an honour for me to be with you to celebrate this most historic and landmark event.
This evening’s event is the first 100th anniversary of any kind being formally celebrated in West Indies cricket.
The Leeward Islands Cricket Association is the forerunner to formal cricket in the West Indies.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, the management and staff of WICB and the entire West Indies cricketing family I extend heartfelt congratulations to you the cricket enthusiasts, the players and administrators and all those involved in Leeward Islands cricket on this momentous 100th anniversary.
I salute too, the vision of those who, at the turn of the previous century, had the foresight to endeavour to organize and play competitive cricket in a structured manner.
While it did take some time for players from the Leewards to represent the region on the international stage, once the door was opened legends of the game emerged from these humble islands.
It would be remiss of me not to recognize Elquemedo Willett who is with us this evening and who was the first man from the Leewards to wear West Indies colours.
We must salute Sir Vivian Isaac Alexander Richards, arguably the best West Indian batsman ever but undoubtedly the most feared batsman to have every played the game.
Andy Roberts, one of the most legendary West Indian fast bowlers and the first Antiguan to play Test cricket. Curtly Ambrose another legend, Richie Richardson yet another legend of the game and former West Indies captain and now Team Manager. The Benjamins – Kenneth and Winston – and players such as Stuart Williams, Keith Arthurton, Eldine Baptiste, Omari Banks, Runako Morton, Lionel Baker and most recently Devon Thomas and Kieran Powell and all the many others who have emerged from the Leeward Islands to play for the West Indies.
With such a rich legacy in the game over the past decades we must all be concerned with the state of cricket in the Leewards.
As newly elected WICB President, on this historic occasion, I make two commitments to you here this evening and to Leewards Islands cricket.
1. I a prepared to take a proposal to my Board of Directors on how we can assist in strengthening cricket in the Leewards
2. The WICB is prepared and willing to assist with the setting up of a permanent secretariat for LICA here in Antigua where I understand space has already been allocated for an office.
I plead with you each of you gathered here this evening to join together and play your respective roles in returning Leeward Islands cricket to the glory days – the days when there are multiple players from the Leewards on the West Indies teams; the days when Leewards is a strong challenger for regional titles at all levels – senior and junior, the days when legends of the game emerge from these islands of such a rich and proud cricketing history.
And before I leave I wish highlight that women’s cricket in the West Indies has been growing leaps and bounds. Most recently we have made it to the finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup.
We now look forward to women cricket in the Leeward Islands being strengthened and developed so that you can participate in and support the overall development of Women’s cricket in the region.
In closing I join with you in celebrating this monumental occasion but I recognize that there is much work to be done. I have confidence that there are resources within this region to get the job done and I pledge the support of the West Indies Cricket Board to assist in every way that we can to see the rise of Leeward Islands cricket once again.