Dominican resident and West Indies selector Lockhart Sebastien, says he is grateful to the people of Trinidad and Tobago for helping the Caribbean island recover from the horror of Hurricane Maria.
A TT Red Force XI will play a Caribbean All-Star XI at the Queen’s Park Oval from 7.30 pm on Saturday. The match is a Hurricane Relief Charity contest which will raise funds for the Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma.
At a media launch held at the Queen’s Park Oval yesterday, Sebastien thanked TT for the outpouring of support.
“First let me say to the people of Trinidad and Tobago how grateful we are in Dominica for all the assistance that you all have been giving and continue to give.
The Government (of TT) itself for facilitating Dominicans, allowing them free access to the country, that can’t go unnoticed because people in Dominica looking for somewhere to go and I can tell you it is tough.”
Sebastien thanked all the organisers of the charity match – TT Cricket Board, Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC), the Sport Company of TT (SporTT) and First Citizens.
“(I want to thank) the committee (for) having this match to help the people of Dominica. I was telling someone that hell is better than Dominica now; it may be harsh words but people are suffering.”
Sebastien said facing legendary fast bowlers in his playing days is nothing compared to what he is experiencing now. “Deryck (Murray) will tell you I faced people like Michael Holding, Patrick Patterson and Andy Roberts, these people bowled at 90 miles (per hour).
In those days you were saying you were fighting for your life, but I will tell you that was chicken feed compared to what we faced in the night (of the hurricane).”
Sebastien said the majority of Dominicans live on the streets currently and in one night have all been reduced to paupers as they’ve lost everything.
Sebastian thanked members of the cricket community such as Sir Viv Richards, Sir Andy Roberts, Gus Logie and Shannon Gabriel for the support they have given him and Dominica.
Former West Indies wicketkeeper and current QPCC president, Deryck Murray, said everyone has come together for a great cause.
“The support that we have received of everyone concerned speaks volumes for the kind of humanity (we have). For cricket in particular, sport in general to have made the spontaneous response that we have, speaks volumes for us as a people.”
SporTT chairman Dinanath Ramnarine is calling on the fans to come out on Saturday. “The players have answered the call, the local players and the regional players, they have all answered the call.
“We are asking the public to come and support this event as it sends a message to not just Trinidad and Tobago, but the wider Caribbean that we are one united Caribbean.”
Robin Lewis, general manager, Retail and Commercial Banking said, “Ladies and gentleman nothing brings us as a Caribbean people together like cricket, and if there was ever a need for us to come together for a cause, this is it.”
Lewis said all proceeds from First Citizens’ sponsorship will help the hurricane victims.
Tickets cost $100 and are available at all National Lotteries Control Board outlets. Children under 12 years accompanied by a paying adult are free. Gates open at 5 pm, while no coolers are allowed.
TT Red Force – Kieron Pollard (captain), Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Dwayne Bravo, Nicholas Pooran, Sunil Narine, Samuel Badree, Ravi Rampaul, Kevon Cooper, Rayad Emrit, Jason Mohammed, Shannon Gabriel.
Caribbean All-Star XI – Dwayne Smith (Barbados), Johnson Charles (St Lucia), Andre Fletcher (Grenada), Chadwick Walton (Jamaica), Andre Mc Carthy (Jamaica), Rovman Powell (Jamaica), Darren Sammy (St Lucia), Ashley Nurse (Barbados), Sulieman Benn (Barbados), Kesrick Williams (St Vincent & Grenadines), Fidel Edwards (Barbados), Jerome Taylor (Jamaica), Shane Shillingford (Dominica) and Yohan Blake (Jamaica).