Cricket fans gathered at the the Daren Ganga Recreation Ground in Barrackpore on Saturday, for the second consecutive year, to see a Brian Lara All Star squad take on a Daren Ganga All Star team in a charity T20 fixture. The match was organised by the Daren Ganga Foundation (DGF), a non-profit organisation whose programmes and initiatives focus on the holistic development of talented young people in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Foundation was created in an effort to proffer opportunities to the youth to further develop themselves in the sporting arena as well as in arts and culture. The foundation seeks to positively impact the lives of young people through sporting camps, financial assistance, scholarships and mentorship programmes.
The second annual T20 saw Ganga’s All Stars get revenge for 2017 by crushing Lara’s All Stars by 190 runs. Sunil Narine (122) and Nicholas Pooran (103) smashed quick centuries to setup the Ganga team’s big victory. Also participating on the day were cricket legends Brian Lara and Curtly Ambrose, along with Ramnaresh Sarwan and Daren Ganga. Major League Soccer (MLS) and national footballer, Kevin Molino, also padded up and showed his timing by stroking a ball to the boundary for the Lara All-Stars. He did not last much longer, however, losing his middle stump to be out for five runs.
Speaking to Newsday during the event, Lara thanked spectators for their support.
“It has been a good day and it is always nice to see this crowd in Barrackpore for just a charity game.
Despite the area not being conducive for them to have comfortable seats, it’s great to see them showing that passion and love for the sport,” Lara said.
The Prince of Port of Spain also praised the sporting personalities for coming together to support a fellow sportsman’s event.
Molino looked odd as he geared-up, not in his usual shin pads and football cleats, but in cricket pads and a helmet. He revealed, however, cricket was one of his first sports he fell in love with.
“If you know me from a young and tender age, I loved cricket, I am a huge fan of the sport and I will always support a brother especially in these type of events,” he said.
The Minnesota United forward continued, “It is an honour and pleasure to play alongside some of the best cricketers to play the sport and I am just happy to be here in front of this fantastic turnout.”
Molino believes the Daren Ganga Foundation is doing a service to the country by using sport to touch lives.
“This is very important because when you look at the crime-rate in the country, at the end of the day, sport unifies people and this encourages people to come out and have a good time with some nice and clean fun. I hope other sportsmen adopt this mindset to spread this type of love throughout all the communities, and we move forward as a family and stop all the negativity that is growing rampant and running wild in Trinidad and Tobago.”
Former West Indian fast bowler, Sir Curtly Ambrose, was also present and said, “When I was first invited, I was not sure how I felt about playing cricket. But after Daren explained to me what the day was all about, I thought it was a worthy cause and I am here to support him. I just hope this thing gets bigger and stronger each year!”
Members of the public forked out $1,200 to earn a spot on either the Ganga XI or Lara XI and rub shoulders with some of their sporting heroes.