Close to 400 persons attended the Friends of Former Guyana Cricketers (FFGC) fund-raising Breakfast held recently in Queens, but President Derrick Kallicharran is disappointed cricketers from in and around the City did not attend.
The activity was the latest staged by the group – a non-profit organization whose purpose is to assist former national cricketers from Guyana in need
Kallicharran lamented that supporters drove many miles from out of state to attend the fund-raiser and he expected the Breakfast would’ve received some measure of support from active players in New York.
Kallicharran, one of a handful of ex Guyana players who mainly comprise the FFGC, said he hopes that future activities by the group would be blessed by the presence of the numerous players that make up the eight leagues in New York.
“We are a group of cricketers who were once players and we are doing stuff to help fellow players, so you expect that the ones around now would be happy to chip in,” he stated.
Kallicharran, nevertheless was pleased that Breakfast held at the popular Naresa Palace restaurant and bar, was not a failure.
He said lots of relatives of FFGC members went the extra mile to help out and he would like to extend sincere thanks to them and others who contributed.
The former bowling all-rounder disclosed that the FFGC would make the Breakfast an annual event along with its Bar-B-Q which was staged for the first time last year July.
However, the group’s next activity will be a Dinner and Dance scheduled for April 7 and they are in the process of securing the presence of former West Indies captain, the legendary Clive Lloyd to be a special guest.
Kallicharran said he spoke to Lloyd one week ago in New Jersey and the former batsman displayed keen interest in coming over to attend from Guyana where he is currently based as an advisor to the Government.
The FFGC group also hopes to attract a leading Barbadian ex player, the likes of Joel Garner or Gordon Greenidge to attend as another special guest. If the celebrity players attend they will do photo opportunities and sign autographs for attendees.
Meanwhile plans for the FFGC’s trip to Guyana to honor its first recipient is well on stream. The late Andrew Lyght, the dashing ex opening batsman will be honored through two matches involving FFGC members and a presentation to a family member.
Originally planned for last year, the trip to Guyana was postponed and will now be held in July.
It will coincide with the Demerara Cricket Club’s 100th anniversary celebrations after the FFGC event was accepted as part of the club’s week of activities. Ex Guyana players and group members including Milton Pydanna, Sydney Matthews, Ray Joseph, Kallicharran, Terry Etwaroo ,Leslaine Lambert and Linden Fraser will be in action in two limited overs games against selected teams of Guyana based players, to mark Lyght’s contribution to the Guyana team. He was also a lifelong DCC player. Other top players of the past including Victor Benjamin, Cuthbert Mendonca and Nigel Harper will also be playing. One match will be played in Georgetown and the other at the famous Albion ground in Berbice.
A special Andrew Lyght award will be made available by the FFGC for an outstanding DCC player annually at the club’s presentation awards. A monetary donation will be given to Lyght’s family and other benefits in the player’s name for DCC players are being worked out by the group.
The FFGC group will spend one week in Guyana, leaving on July 13 to return on July 21st. Members have until April to confirm their participation for the trip and interested cricket fans from around the United States are invited. Contact with the FFGC can be made by dialing telephone numbers 917-573-8078 or 718-840-7600. A special reduced group fare negotiated with EZ Charter service will enable the participants to fly to Guyana.