By John L. Aaron
A benefit committee headed by long-time cricket administrator Krish Prasad, and calling itself the Eastern American Cricket Association and Friends have planned a benefit match honoring Gary Nascimento, a former cricket player, coach, administrator and umpire, this Saturday, June 20, 2015 at Idlewild Cricket Ground in Queens, NY.
The scheduled 30-Overs match gets underway at 11:00am and will feature several former cricket stars from Guyana as part of a Gary Nascimento Guyana XI vs. a Rest of the Caribbean XI. The event is expected to attract a sizable crowd at the very popular cricket facility at 223 rd Street and 147th Avenue in Rosedale, Queens, not far from JFK International Airport.
Nascimento, now 68 years old, fell in love with the sport of cricket at an early age in Guyana, South America, where he was born and grew up, before migrating to the USA in the early 90s, where he subsequently married the love of his life Margaret Lovell in 1977. The couple has two grown children; Shivon and Shane. Shane in his mid-twenties took a liking to the sport of cricket in the USA, but never fully pursued it, according to his mother he quit suddenly one day, telling his father that he was not going back to cricket. It could have been because his father was not directly involved with the youth squad with which the younger Nascimento played. Gary Nascimento with a full head of foxlike silver hair could have often been found at cricket matches with his wife Margaret in tow.
Margaret Nascimento says that her husband can get under her skin at times, but she would not leave him for the world, adding, “I have stuck with him, for better or for worse.” She recalls the fun times she has had watching her husband play cricket and particularly enjoyed when they were together on cricket tours. The couple celebrates their 38 th wedding anniversary on July 2nd this year.
The very funny Gary Nascimento, is always willing to tantalize his close associates, or even not so close associates, and often has a funny anecdote or two to share, that invariably relates to cricket. Gary’s cricketing career started in earnest around age 15 when he joined the Demerara Cricket Club (DCC), before moving over to the very elite Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) with his younger brother Dennis, both clubs are located in the capital City of Guyana – the only English-speaking nation in South America that’s inextricably linked to the West Indies and the former English governed group of Caribbean islands.
At GCC, Gary honed his skills as an all-rounder, playing alongside such stalwarts as former Guyana and West Indies Test player Steven Camacho, who captained GCC. Gary spent 25 years playing cricket for GCC during which time he captained the prestigious club men’s senior XI, which included future West Indies Test player and West Indies skipper Carl Hooper. Nascimento enjoyed such teammates as Rupert Gomes, Freddie Hartman, Faoud Bacchus, the Jackman brothers; Andy, Colin, Trevor and Keith, Steven Bamfield, Brian Sadler, Ian Small and later former Guyana and West Indies Test players Alvin Kallicharran and Shivnarine Chanderpaul. He cherishes as his mentors, former cricketers like Steven Camacho and Cecil “Bruiser” Thomas.
As a cricket coach at GCC, Gary Nascimento developed a rapport with younger players and paid forward much of what he had learned under the tutelage of his mentors, and many who have since left us. Soon after he stopped playing competitive cricket, he was back into coaching – one of his favorite cricketing activities, and was given the opportunity to impart his knowledge upon such Under-19 players as William Perkins, Akeem Dodson and Greg Sewdial; players who have all since played cricket at the international levels for Trinidad & Tobago and the USA.
The medium pacer and middle-order batsman proudly remembers his cricketing career highlights as clearly as yesterday. He vividly remembers scoring 125 against the British Guiana Cricket Club while representing GCC, and enjoying a 10-wicket haul against Everest Cricket Club. Among the former West Indies Test players he has admired over the years are Sir Vivian Richards and Malcom Marshall. Nascimento said, “I admired Richards for his classy style of batting,” and Malcolm Marshall who he credits with having excellent ball control as a pace bowler.
Among those expected to participate or at least make cameo appearances in the match and representing the Gary Nascimento Guyana XI on Saturday, are Clayton Lambert, Faoud Bacchus, Steve Massiah, Sew Shivnarain, Derrick Kallicharran, Leslaine Lambert, Safraz Ali, Nayeem Baksh, Vibert Darjun, Kevin Darlington, Sudesh Dhaniram, Linden Fraser, Ray Joseph, Sydney Matthews, Carlyle Miller, Nazir Mohammed, Vishal Nagamootoo, Marlon Kallicharran, Keshwar Persaud, Paul Persaud, Milton Pydanna, Amirnauth Persaud, Kamal Singh, Collie Solomon, Rabindranauth Seeram, Zamin Amin, Victor Benjamin, Tristan Carmichael, Rafiq Khan, Michael Noble, Dominique Rikkhi, Debo Sankar and Zaheer Saffie. Jameel “JZ” Mohammed will manage the squad, with Ajit Mootoo as his Assistant.
Expected to represent the Rest of the Caribbean XI are Austin Hutchinson, Dave Mohammed, Glen Lorick, Dixieth Palmer, Richard Staple, Xavier Marshall, Joe Allen, Ganesh Ramsingh, Wesley King, Barrington Bartley, Gary Wildman, J. Sylvester, George Adams, A. Hunte, G. Anthony and Cliff Roye. Sadiq Khan will Manage the squad.
The EACA & Friends of Gary Nascimento committee has been working tirelessly over the past three months to make Saturday, June 20, 2015 a very special day in honor of a man who has given so much and so selfishly to the sport of cricket, asking very little in return.
It is only fitting that on the eve of Father’s Day, the cricketing community in New York should get together and celebrate, not only the accomplishments of such a cricket stalwart, but more importantly the contributions of the individual – Gary David Nascimento, a father, and father-like figure to so many youth players here in the USA and his native Guyana.
Sincere thanks to the many, many sponsors and those who served on the committee – Ralph Tamesh, Sew Shivnarain, Bhola Ramsundar, Krish Prasad, Rudy Persaud, Jameel “JZ” Mohammed, Ajit Mootoo, Derrick Kallicharran, John Aaron, and many others who played an integral role in turning the idea into a reality.
We at www.usacricketers.com will try to bring you a live scorecard of the game.