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Celebrating cricket

Elquemedo Willet among those to be honoured.

Elquemedo Willet among those to be honoured.

ST. JOHN’S – The Leeward Islands Cricket Association is this year celebrating 100 years of organised cricket in the sub-region.

As part of the celebrations, LICA will be holding a black tie gala event in Antigua. This event is confirmed for Saturday, 6th April, 2013 at the Grand Royal Antiguan Resort.

LICA will use the event to honour several persons who have served the sport in various capacities over the years, as well as to recognize the contributions of many who have blazed the trail but are no longer alive.

Organised cricket among the islands in the Leeward Islands was first held in 1913. Teams initially played for the Hesketh Bell Shield, in honour of the Governor of the Leeward Islands at the time – Sir Hesketh Bell.One of those persons whom LICA plans to honour is Elquemedo Willett of Nevis, who in 1973 became the first player from the Leeward Islands to gain selection to the West Indies team.

Willett recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of that selection. Two players from the Leeward Islands have since gone on to captain the West Indies team, Sir Vivian Richards and Richie Richardson.

Other persons who will be recognised include administrators, volunteers, sponsors, fans and other persons who have contributed to cricket in the Leeward Islands.

The Leeward Islands team began playing first class cricket in 1958. However, between 1966 and 1981 they played along with the Windward Islands as the Combined Islands in the regional first class tournaments.

After the Combined Islands won the regional tournament in 1981, they were again split up into the Leeward Islands and Windward Islands. Dominica was initially part of the Leeward Islands. (windiescricket)††

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