Cricket Hall Of Fame
By STAN WALKER
Former West Indian Test cricket star Courtney Walsh tops the list of nominees that have been recommended for this year’s induction into the Cricket Hall of Fame. Seven others, who have made outstanding contributions to the sport in the U.S., John Aaron, Jamie Harrison, Samuel Belnavis, Mahamood “Mo” Ally, Dale V. C. Holness, Joseph Buffong, and Andrew “Busta” Headley, have also been nominated for induction.
This year’s ceremony is set for Saturday, October 6, at the Hilton Hotel, downtown Hartford.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Walsh represented the West Indies from 1984-2001. Captaining the team in 22 Test matches, he is best known for a remarkable opening bowling partnership with fellow West Indian Curtly Ambrose. He held the record of most Test wickets from 2000, after he broke the record which was held by Kapil Dev of India. Walsh’s record was later broken in 2004 by Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka.
Aaron, the former Executive Secretary of the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA), considers himself a “servant of cricket.” Aaron, who is from Guyana, is viewed by many as being extremely pivotal in the reconciliation efforts within USA cricket, following two suspensions by the International Cricket Council (ICC), based on poor governance of the sport in the U.S. Many have described his views and actions as one of the most positive turning points for U.S. cricket in the past decade.
Harrison is the president of the United States Youth Cricket Association (USYCA). A history teacher in Baltimore, Harrison was introduced to the game, while on a field trip with some of his students in Virginia. The game was demonstrated as a historic artifact while they were visiting a Civil War site. They fell in love with the game and upon returning to the school he was asked to moderate a cricket club. He learned the game like his students did and became their first cricket coach.
Belnavis, who developed his love for the game in his hometown in Jamaica, has been involved in almost every aspect of the game since his arrival in the U.S. in the fall of 1971. A founding member of the Villagers Cricket Club in New York, he has served as the director of the popular Red Stripe Cricket Competition (2000-03), the premier cricket tournament in the U.S. at the time, as president of the 124-year-old New York Metropolitan Cricket League, a leader of the USACA Council of League presidents, and coach of the New York Women’s Cricket team.
A life-long cricket aficionado with domestic and international playing experience, Ally is the publisher of a lifestyle magazine for cricket fans, the American Cricketer. He started the first cricket teams in Minnesota and Miami and was responsible for getting the fields (Brian Piccolo Park) in which the league games were held. He was also instrumental in getting land in Gastonia, North Carolina, to build a cricket ground and hosted the first international team from South Africa.
An avid cricket fan and former player, Holness who served as Commissioner and Vice Mayor for Lauderhill in Florida, played a big role in the building of a Cricket Stadium in the County, which is the only stadium in the U.S. that is certified and sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Buffong, who is from Montserrat, has served as president for the Massachusetts State Cricket League (MSCL) four separate times. He has also been a regional representative for the northeast U.S. and the MSCL, a number of years. Over his career, he has made quite a bit of contribution to the sport in the Boston area and has held multiple cricket affiliated positions such as president, vice-president, Public Relations representative and manager.
After many years of service to the New York Cricket League (NYCL), while being a member of the Montserrat Cricket Club, Headley was very instrumental in the forming of the Wembley Athletic Club, which was one of the greatest promoters of the game in the city. He still remains very active in the club which is now in its 57th year. He is respected for his history of dedication in the NYCL, the club and cricket in general. Headley who was born in Boston grew up in Jamaica.