Sarasota International Cricket Club was privileged to welcome West Indies batting legend, Alvin Kallicharran, as its special guest during the 2016 Sarasota Six-a-Side Festival. At the gala dinner on Saturday, Alvin spoke memorably about his life in cricket and the importance of the game as a character builder. His life lessons from cricket were laced with humorous stories of playing with and against some of the all time greats of the game, such as Sir Garfield Sobers, Lance Gibbs, Andy Roberts, Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thompson. During two days at Parry Field he met with players and spectators and presented trophies to the winning teams and the tournament’s best batsman, bowler and fielder.
In remarks to the crowd at the end of the tournament, Alvin praised the teams for the good spirit and sportsmanship with which they played. He complimented the facilities at Sarasota and expressed the hope that he could bring a youth cricket tournament here in the near future. Alvin is involved with coaching and development of 250 youngsters enrolled in a youth cricket program where he lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Alvin Kallicharran played first-class cricket from 1972 to 1981. A left-handed batsman and right-arm off spinner, he was renowned for his elegant batting style with poise, balance and a full range of strokes off either foot. He was the 1973 Wisden Cricketer of the Year and in the West Indies teams that won the Cricket World Cup in 1975 and 1979. He captained the West Indies in 1977-78.
He made 66 test appearances, scoring 4,399 runs at an average of 44.42. His test record includes twelve 100s and twenty one 50s. In addition to the West Indies he played for Guyana, Orange Free State, Queensland, Transvaal and Warwickshire.
His inspirational visit to Sarasota will be long remembered by those whom he met.