West Indies cricket, 50 years ago

first_imgFifty years ago, January 27, 1966, West Indies cricket came of age, fully of age. It was the first day of a regional competition, a competition that provided regular, though limited, competition of four matches per team on an annual basis, and a competition that undoubtedly lifted West Indies cricket into the company of cricket in England, Australia, South Africa, and India. Half a century ago, the Shell Shield was founded, and it signalled the start of the rise of West Indies cricket to the top. The West Indies started playing Test cricket in 1928, they made their presence felt for the first time in 1950 by beating England in England, in 1966, they had their first official and regular tournament, and by the 1980s, the West Indies were the undisputed champions of the world. Today, they are nowhere to be found, not anywhere near the top. In fact, near to the bottom of the ladder. Fifty years ago, following the illustrious careers of players like Frank Worrell, Everton Weekes, Clyde Walcott, Sonny Ramadhin, and Alfred Valentine, the Shell Shield arrived in time to complement those of great players like Garry Sobers, Rohan Kanhai, Seymour Nurse, Basil Butcher, Conrad Hunte, Wes Hall, Charlie Griffith, Lance Gibbs, Jackie Hendriks, and Deryck Murray. And it stayed around to herald the coming of champions such as Lawrence Rowe, Alvin Kallicharran, Viv Richards, Gordon Greenidge, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Bernard Julien, Keith Boyce, Richie Richardson, Malcolm Marshall, and Jeffrey Dujon, to name a few. The regional competition started as the Shell Shield, it lasted until 1987 before it changed several times to include the Red Stripe Cup, the President’s Cup, the Busta Cup, and the Carib Beer Series to the present Professional Cricket League of the West Indies. It started with Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and the Combined Islands before teams from faraway places like England and Kenya were invited to participate. The regional competition, which was won by Barbados on 12 occasions in its time as the Shell Shield, was rated by many as the best first-class cricket competition in the world because of the quality of its players and the level of its competition, especially in its early years. The first regional match, known as the Shell Shield, was played between the Combined Islands and Jamaica on January 27, 28, 29, and 31 at the Antigua Recreation Ground in St Johns, Antigua, and it was a draw. It was a match in which opening batsman Teddy Griffith, playing for Jamaica, made 150 runs, the first century in the competition, opening batsman Easton McMorris scored 134 in the second innings, the first of three successive centuries, including 127 not out, out of 236 all out against Trinidad and Tobago, and 190 versus Lance Gibbs and Edwin Mohammed of Guyana. Over the years, there have been huge scores, such as the Leeward Islands 718 for seven against Kenya in Antigua in 2004, Guyana’s 641 for five declared versus Barbados in 1967, and the Leeward Islands 613 for five declared against Trinidad and Tobago at the ARG n 1984, and low scores, such as Guyana’s 41 versus Jamaica at Sabina Park in 1986, the Combined Islands 53 against Barbados at Warner Park in 1974, and 54 by the Windward Islands at Arnos Vale in 1968. SHELL SHIELD TITLE ROBBED The Shell Shield, the Red Stripe Cup, or the President’s Cup, whatever it was called, it served West Indies well, despite its many changes in scoring, which led to the result of the match between the Combined Islands and Trinidad and Tobago in 1975, according to the rules of the completion, ending as a draw instead of a tie, and robbed the Combined Islands of the title. There is also its latest change to a franchise system, with, for example, Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago, now known as the Jamaica Scorpions, the Barbados Pride, and the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force. The late Allan Rae, a former president of the West Indies Board, said on the 21st birthday of the regional competition, “One only has to compare the performances of the West Indies team before Shell’s involvement with the performances since that involvement to appreciate the force for good that the Shell Shield has been on our cricket.”last_img read more

How Donegal Socks are keeping National Geographic’s toes cosy on Everest!

first_imgOperating a global sock making industry from a rural part of South West Donegal’s Gaeltacht, just outside of Glenties, hasn’t hindered Martin Breslin growing his successful company Donegal Socks.In recent months his range of colourfully designed knitted socks has caught the eye of the world famous National Geographic Channel.Martin was delighted when he recently got a call from the people in National Geographic expressing their interest in having Donegal Socks as part of their product range. The company is helped out by Údarás na Gaeltachta’s enterprise development scheme which assists entrepreneurs by encouraging new investment in Gaeltacht areas, nurturing already established businesses, and enhancing the skill base of those living in Gaeltacht communities.Martin BreslinMark Quinn, the youngest person born in Ireland to have reached the peak of Everest says Donegal Socks are his favourite to bring on long treks; “Donegal Socks will be my only choice in future for trekking, climbing and reaching the summits of challenging mountains. I expect to be continually amazed and look forward to bringing them to the summit of the next 8,000m peak that I climb.”Today,  Stocaí Dhún na nGall exports over a 100,000 pairs of socks a year to markets around the world. This growing partnership now sees Donegal Socks being sold in all National Geographic outlets around the world.“In recent years we have explored new markets and we discovered that ‘the outdoor market’ was a perfect fit for our sock range. With extensive research and development through an Údarás na Gaeltachta programme, we proved that our product was perfectly suited to the outdoor adventure market,” said Martin.“Our socks are a 100% natural product and this is exactly why the National Geographic were attracted to our product.”“The National Geographic promotes natural and cultural conservation, and shares many of the same values as Donegal Socks, so to be included in the extensive clothing range of a brand which complements everything we stand for is a fantastic achievement.”“Currently 50% of our socks are exported and as a result of this new contract we hope that our exports will increase dramatically in the next few years. The U.S alone is a huge importer of socks and to be a part of this National Geographic brand, is huge for us. We also have clients in other markets such as, Ireland, the UK, Denmark, France and Canada.”“Over the past number of years we automated some of our production line. This reinvestment has paid off and has been an essential part of our survival and growth. We plan to increase our employee numbers from 6 to 15 in the next 2 years.” “We owe a lot to Údarás na Gaeltachta who have been a huge support in helping us target new markets and who have helped us to focus on researching and developing new opportunities on a global scale.”“It gives us immense pride to see our products in airports, craft shops, tourist and visitor centres all over the world, and now in National Geographic outlets. We will continue to explore new markets and we are currently assessing opportunities on a larger scale.”“In the coming weeks we are undertaking a field trip with Údarás na Gaeltachta to Boston to explore new markets. As part of this trip Údarás have pre-arranged meetings with large buyers in the States. Our vision for the next 2 years is to concentrate on growingand expanding the business even further,” Martin concluded.For more see Donegal-Socks.com Údarás na Gaeltachta also offer financial and non-financial support to businesses such as Donegal Socks, as well as supplying business facilities at a competitive price to businesses in various different sectors.More than 7,000 people are employed thanks to the Údarás na Gaeltachta scheme.To learn more about Údarás na Gaeltachta’s enterprise development scheme you can visit their website.How Donegal Socks are keeping National Geographic’s toes cosy on Everest! was last modified: October 10th, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegal socksEverestMark Quinnmartin breslinnat geostocai dun na ngallÚdarás na Gaeltachtalast_img read more