THE Jamaican High Commission in London has partnered with Victoria Mutual UK to celebrate Jamaica's 50th year of Independence to host a Jamaica 50 cricket match at the KIA Oval in London on July 8.
The cricket clash featured a Jamaican Legends XI team versus an England Veterans XI in an exciting West-Indian carnival-style atmosphere. Proceeds from the contest will be donated to the development of youth cricket in Kingston, Jamaica.
The London weather just could not help but be typical, prevailing over the action and reducing the contest from the planned 30 overs to a 15-over contest. At the end of the game, England captain Paul Nixon accepted the winner's trophy from Jamaican High Commissioner to London, Aloun Assamba for a seven-wicket victory over their Jamaican rivals.
The event, held under the auspices of the Jamaican High Commissioner-UK was an official Jamaica 50 event, bringing Jamaicans in the United Kingdom together to celebrate the nation's 50th year of Independence.
Fans and dignitaries conversed freely with Jamaican Legends of the cricketing fraternity including Maurice Foster, captain Courtney Walsh, Nehemiah Perry, Wavell Hinds, Delroy Morgan, Cleveland Davidson, Wayne Lewis, Robert Samuels and manager Easton McMorris. The English Masters included John Emburey, captain Paul Nixon, Alex Tudor, Peter Such, Minal Patel, Dean Headley, Mark Ramprakash, Norman Cowans and Martin Bicknell.
Speaking during the presentation ceremony, High Commissioner to London Assamba noted that a cricket match between the teams was a fitting tribute to the Independence celebrations and emphasises the close relationship between England and Jamaica.
"This charity match is a fitting tribute to Jamaica 50 and brings together former greats from Jamaica and England who have distinguished themselves in the cricketing arena; the match will serve to strengthen the bond of friendship between the UK and Jamaica," she said.
Chairman of the Victoria Mutual Building Society, Michael McMorris, endorsed the event. "We are pleased to celebrate Jamaica's 50th year of Independence with the Jamaican community in London and across the United Kingdom through a variety of cultural events, such as this 'Jamaica 50 Cricket' match.
"This is an opportunity for Jamaicans across the world to demonstrate the oneness, vivacity and passion for our culture, which are trademarks of the Jamaican people. At this crucial point in our nation's history, the Victoria Mutual Group is truly honoured to be a home-grown Jamaican institution," he said.
The weather was no match for the spirited atmosphere and attendees thoroughly enjoyed the showcase of Jamaican music, which has carried the island's culture around the world.