GCB hails Kallicharran for making Queen’s honours list
Upon being awarded with the prestigious British Empire Medal in the Queen’s 2019 honours list, Alvin Kallicharran is being praised for his efforts and contributions in the cricketing fraternity.
As such, the executive committee and membership of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) have extended heartfelt congratulations to the Guyanese cricket stalwart.
The Medal of the Order of the British Empire was first established in 1917, along with the Order of the British Empire. The medal was part of the Order and could be awarded for either meritorious service or for gallantry. It was awarded to 2015 people, 800 of whom were from foreign countries. In 1922, the original medal was discontinued and split into two separate honours, which still formed part of the Order of the British Empire. These two honours are known as the Medal of the
Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service (usually referred to as British Empire Medal, BEM) and the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Gallantry (usually referred to as Empire Gallantry Medal, EGM).
Alvin Kallicharran was born on March 21, 1949. Hailing from the small village of Port Mourant in Berbice, he debuted for Guyana at the tender age of 17 against the Windwards in Grenada and in 1972 against New Zealand at Bourda for the West Indies. Kallicharran has had a very long and distinguished career that produced close to 50,000 runs in Test, ODI, First Class and List A cricket during his career. He has represented Guyana, West Indies, Warwickshire, Transvaal, Orange Free State and Queensland during his career. His Test career spanned the period 1972 to 1981 and he represented the West Indies during the transformational period in the late 1970s when they indisputably became the best team in the world. He was part of the Windies team that won the very first two World Cups played in London. He played in 66 Test matches and scored 4399 Test runs with 12 centuries and 21 fifties. For eight of those fifties, he got out in the 90s and could easily have made 20 centuries in that space of time. Kallicharran is well remembered for his onslaught against the great Dennis Lillee in the 11th match of the inaugural World Cup in England 1975 where he literally decimated him for 35 runs off just 10 deliveries. This stat compares very favourably with top T20 strike rates. He was equally at home against spin and pace and was described by Clive Lloyd as one of the most complete batsmen of his time and possibly of all time. Kallicharran captained the West Indies team for two series against Australia and in India, where he scored his highest Test innings of 187.
He joined Warwickshire in 1971 playing for their second XI, but quickly advanced to the first XI the following year; his playing career lasted well into the late 80s. He possibly had his best year in 1983 when he was the only cricketer on the county circuit to score over 2000 runs in the season with eight centuries, three of which were double hundreds. Quite justifiably, Kallicharran was named one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the year in 1983.
This legend has also contributed immensely to charities, having taken part and organised matches in various parts of the world. Along with Sunil Gavaskar, he organised a charity match in which India played the Rest of World XI in 1997 for the Sri Satya Sai Baba entity and Sachin Tendulkar participated. Kallicharran has supported numerous other charity events such as the Indian Ocean Disaster Relief, the Oracle Head and Neck Cancer Research Trust and has participated in other charitable matches when he worked for the Lashings World XI during the period 2001-2009. In 2006, he was a part of ‘The Sports Relief’, which raised over £16 million. He was also a part of the group that rendered assistance in 2004 to the tsunami victims and has participated in the annual PM John Major charity match, which raises funds for cancer awareness.
It is without a shadow of a doubt that this esteemed son of our soil has fully displayed the everlasting qualities of humility and service to humankind. His love and dedication for the game of cricket had translated into immense pleasure and happiness for millions around the world during his professional career, and he has more than adequately contributed to his sterling reputation and service beyond the boundary in other charitable causes.
As the GCB in a statement said, “The entire country is united in its pride and joy for this richly justifiable recognition of the British Empire Medal Award onto Alvin Isaac Kallicharran in the Queen’s honours list for 2019. Do continue to make us proud!”