Cricket legends weekend in honour of ‘Yagga’ Rowe
LEGENDARY West Indies and Jamaica cricketer Lawrence “Yagga” Rowe shares that he will mark his 75th birthday today quietly with family.
However, he and his wife Audrey have all intentions of celebrating the milestone next week with a three-day event that will double as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the master batsman’s historic, triple century Test innings against England at Bridgetown, Barbados, in 1974.
The January 19-21 event scheduled for Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has been labelled a West Indies cricket legends weekend. It will feature some of the region’s greatest players coming together “to commemorate a remarkable achievement that transcends time and continues to inspire generations”, according to the Lawrence Rowe Legendary Cricket Foundation, which was started by his wife.
“So far we have confirmed Viv Richards, Andy Roberts, Courtney Walsh, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Faoud Bacchus, and Alvin Kallicharan,” Rowe told the Jamaica Observer last week.
He said he expects other former West Indies cricketers but opted to await their confirmation before naming them.
“It’s like a celebrity weekend as we will also have NFL star [of the] Atlanta Falcons, running back Devonta Freeman,” Rowe added, excitement obvious in his voice.
The event on January 19, he said, will basically be a meet-and-greet for specially invited guests, and will also serve as a sort of family reunion as members of his family will be in Fort Lauderdale for the special weekend.
A free cricket clinic for enthusiasts of all ages is scheduled for 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday, January 20 at Central Broward Regional Park, one of the stadia that will host the 2024 Cricket World Cup.
“Most of the guys will be there to give tips and answer questions, if needed,” Rowe said, adding that two T20 matches have been organised.
Asked if any of the legends will be playing, he said they may, if they so choose. However, one of the event’s sponsors is forming a team.
“This is a unique opportunity for aspiring cricketers to learn from the best in the game,” the foundation said in a news release.
The cricket clinic will be followed by a Celebrity Gala at Westin, Fort Lauderdale, at which Rowe will be honoured.
Rowe is one of only four West Indies Cricket icons to have etched their names in the history of the sport by scoring a triple century. The others are Barbadian Sir Garfield Sobers, Trinidadian Brian Lara, and Jamaican Christopher Gayle.
Sobers scored a massive 365 not out against Pakistan in 1958 at Sabina Park. That record stood for 36 years until it was bettered by Lara with 375 against England in 1994 at Antigua Recreation Ground. Gayle scored 333 against Sri Lanka at Galle International Stadium, Sri Lanka, in 2010.
Lara also scored 400 not out in Antigua during the 4th Test against England in 2004
Rowe’s 302 during the third Test against England at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown has been described by one writer as “arguably the most elegant Test triple-hundred of all time”.
The weekend celebration will climax on Sunday, January 21 with cricket matches and live entertainment at Central Broward Park.
“These events will be free for the community, providing a day of enjoyment for the entire family,” the foundation said.