Cricket greats Lara, Gayle give thumbs up to Legends T20 Festival
The parish of St Elizabeth is known as a cricket-loving community and the fans of the sport turned out in their numbers to witness two West Indian legends of the sport, Brian Lara and Chris Gayle, showcase their talent once again at the Treasure Beach Sports Complex.
When all was said and done, the Gayle XI triumphed over Lara’s XI by 11 runs, but the more than 5,000 fans got a glimpse of the batting maestro Lara and the Universe Boss, who rekindled some of their brilliant form for their respective teams.
Gayle top-scored for his team with 52 from 37 balls in a total of 156 for six while Lara weighed in with 32 from as many balls in his team’s total of 145 for four in their allotted 20 overs.
Ironically, both Gayle and Lara were dismissed twice bowled off no balls, but such was the festive nature of the occasion that the fans cheered the umpires’ decisions on each occasion.
For Lara, seeing the thousands of Jamaican fans coming out to support the event was a fitting reward.
“It was great fun out there. It was a no-brainer coming out and supporting Daren Powell, and if I had to come out and do it again tomorrow, I would. To see the turnout is just spectacular and to see and feel the atmosphere with Chris Gayle and guys like Delroy Morgan and Wavell Hinds, who I played with in the past, I am looking forward to coming back.”
Lara’s opposite number, Gayle, was overawed by the support of the match and vowed that he would keep on playing if the reception that they continue to get is like this.
“It’s a great feeling, I haven’t seen this crowd in a long time in Jamaica, so that goes to show that people still love cricket, and I know St Elizabeth is the heart of cricket, and big thanks must go out to Lara for taking time out of his busy schedule to take part.”
Organiser Daren Powell was also pleased that fans were able to witness some of their past cricket greats turn back the clock, and by all indications, the event could get even more support moving forward.
“I would love for next year to do a cricket clinic a couple of days before the event with some youngsters. I still have the youth in my focus,” said Powell.