Cricket legend Lawrence Rowe to celebrate 50th anniversary of triple century
Before the era of heavy bats, cricket had the stroke player. Those batsmen caressed the ball to the boundary with such effortless timing it inspired poetic writing from journalists, some of whom covered the 1974 Test match between the West Indies and England at Kensington Oval in Barbados.
So enchanted was Lawrence Rowe’s epic 302, Wisden, the Bible of cricket, called it a “master performance”. Former England fast-bowler Mike Selvey later described the 610-minute innings as “unruffled technical excellence”.
Rowe, 74, celebrates the 50th anniversary of arguably his finest moment with a series of events in South Florida from January 19-21. Several West Indian legends including former captain, fast-bowler Courtney Walsh, and Guyanese batsmen Alvin Kallicharran and Ramnaresh Sarwan, are expected to attend.
The highlight of the three-day event is a celebrity gala on January 19 in the city of Weston. There will also be a coaching clinic and two matches at Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, a city with a large West Indian community.
Responding to England’s 395 all out, the West Indies scored 596 for eight declared. Opening the batting with Guyana’s Roy Fredericks, Rowe scored his runs off 430 deliveries with 36 fours and one six. England reached 277 for seven in their second innings in the drawn match.
Rowe, who is from Whitfield Town in St Andrew, became the second West Indian batsman after Garfield Sobers to score a Test triple century. Brian Lara of Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaican Chris Gayle are the only other West Indians to score triple centuries.
Two years earlier, Rowe scored 214 and 100 not out on his Test debut against New Zealand at Sabina Park. He is the only batsman in Test cricket to achieve that feat.
The folk hero status Rowe earned during the 1970s turned to scorn after he led rebel West Indies teams on tours of Apartheid-run South Africa in 1983 and 1984. Those players were banned for life by the West Indies Cricket Board of Control (as it was known then), which was eventually lifted.
Rowe played 30 Tests, scoring 2,047 runs including seven centuries at an average of 43.55. He has lived in South Florida for 40 years.