The American Cricket Federation (ACF) made a contribution on and off the field to the 2nd Annual Lawrence Rowe Legendary Foundation’s Cricket Legends Weekend in Ft. Lauderdale last weekend.
With its 2015 Newbery American Cricket Champions League winners Massachusetts Patriots led by skipper Jaideep Reddy participating on the field in one of the two celebrity cricket matches, the ACF as a sponsoring partner made a contribution to the three noble causes of the foundation created in 2011, by legendary Jamaica and West Indies Test cricketer Lawrence Rowe and his wife Audrey Rowe.
The foundation focuses on three initiatives – “Mission of the Heart” that extends a helping hand to West Indies cricket legends across the Caribbean, “Jamaica I.C.E.” Independence Children Extravagance, where children of all ages get to showcase their cultural talents, and “Look good, do good,” a mentorship and make-over initiative geared toward children in need of tutoring to get back on track with their school work. In addition, the foundation looks to keep the love of cricket alive. This year’s cricket beneficiary is former Barbados and West Indies Test cricketer Seymour Nurse.
With almost twenty former West Indies Test cricketers in attendance including Rohan Kanhai, Alvin Kallicharran, Lance Gibbs, Larry Gomes, Desmond Haynes, Ridley Jacobs, Andy Roberts, Brian Lara, Courtney Walsh, Joel Garner, Collis King, Augustine Logie, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Faoud Bacchus, Dwayne Smith, Jermaine Lawson, Larry Gomes and Joel Garner, the weekend’s activities kicked off with a “Meet & Greet” on Friday, March 4, followed by a Gala Dinner on Saturday, and two celebrity cricket matches on Sunday at the Central Broward Regional Park; the only ICC approved ODI facility in the USA.
ACF Board directors Dr. Mahesh Allam, Avinash Varma, Mike Thomas and John Aaron, along with some 25 ACF guests and Massachusetts Patriots’ players, attended the Gala Legends Dinner at the Marriott Hotel. Legendary Trinidad & Tobago batsman and West Indies captain Brian Charles Lara was the featured speaker at the gala. Lara reviewed the current status of West Indies cricket and opined that the future success of West Indies cricket rests on the shoulders of its younger cricketers. The world batting records holder called for a shift in responsibility and ownership of West Indies cricket, while referencing the recent sentiments of the Caribbean’s political leaders regarding a radical change in the governance of West Indies cricket.
Lara suggested the West Indies team be owned by its fans, in a model similar to the format adopted by the FC Barcelona Football team of Spain, where some 180,000 fans “socios” own the world famous soccer team through individual memberships.
ACF Board member Dr. Allam in an address to those present at the dinner, called for unity in USA cricket, using the acronym CALM to spell out a way forward for the governance and growth of the sport in this country.
Dr. Allam, a pulmonary specialist sought to breathe new life into the way the sport is seen and executed in America. The Florida-based medical practitioner said CALM represented a Sesame Street reference, but used the acronym to spell out the path forward for USA cricket, and under the banner of unity.
He offered C for Cooperation among all stakeholders: A for Appreciation of the cultural diversity inherent in US cricket: L for Love of the game of cricket, and M for Mutual respect and dignity for every individual involved.
Dr. Allam in calling for a calm approach to solving the ills of American cricket, concluded with the wish that those four simple principles may be the answer to our daily lives and the future of the sport of cricket in the USA.