EX-West Indies batsman Alvin Isaac Kallicharran was among several sports personalities, who were awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s New Year Honours list for his contribution to the sport.
The Guyanese-born batsman would now be entitled to attach the letters “BEM” to his title, signifying that he has been honoured by the queen.
He joins a list of sports personalities Peter Wynne-Thomas Nottingham Club historian, Anthony Clark, for his services to badminton, New Zealand coach Mary Wright for contributions to gymnastics, Sophia Warner for services to disability sports, race walker Chris Maddocks, for his services to athletics, Paralympic athlete Dr Anthony Griffin for services to sport and Stephen Baxter and Northern Ireland’s Crusaders FC manager, Stephen Baxter, for his contribution to football.
Born on March 21, 1949 in Georgetown, Guyana, Kallicharan played cricket from 1972 to 1981 as a left-handed batsman and a right-arm off spinner. Not only did he play for the West Indies team but he also used his elegant watchful batting style in teams including Guyana, Orange Free State, Queensland, Transvaal and Warwickshire.
Kallicharan debuted in his hometown in a face-off between West Indies and New Zealand between April 6-11, 1972, where he made a century without being bowled out. A year later he debuted in One Day Test Cricket, in a clash between England and the West Indies at Leeds, England, where he was stumped with 26 runs, but knocked over three stumps, while conceding 68 runs.
The cricketer was also named Wisden Cricketer of the year in 1983.
One of his more noted international innings where he made 158 runs against English bowlers during the first Test of the West Indies tour of England in London in July 1973. The knock was shrouded in controversy after he was run out by Tony Greig on the final ball of the first day.
He was later on embroiled in further controversy when he led an unofficial rebel tour to South Africa in defiance of the Gleneagles Agreement, which stated that Commonwealth Presidents and Prime Ministers were to discourage contact and competition with sporting organisations from South Africa, who at the time was operating under the policies of apartheid.
Kallicharan also took up the West Indies captaincy from 1977-1978, three years before his last Test Match and ODI appearances in 1981.
He spent the rest of his career playing for Orange Free State and Transvaal in South African domestic cricket. He is currently manager of Lashings World XI.
The British Empire Medal is an award given to people who did a commendable civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown.
In England New Year’s Day is usually marked by the naming of new members of orders of chivalry and recipients of other official honours. Kallicharran is expected to be handed the medal on New Year’s Day, by a representative of the queen in her name or by the queen herself.
Brian Davis, who managed the West Indies team while Kallicharran was captain, described him as an “affable person with a tremendous sense of humor”. He said that along with working with him in the West Indies team, he also played against him whenever TT faced Guyana
“I think it is well deserved,” Davis said. “It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. He stuck with the team when many others were picking up and leaving. He was a great batsman and played very well, and if they want to award him then that is a good choice.”