Venkasammy Was Good Enough

Date Published: 
21-Jun-2013
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Thank you for this wonderful website. I truly appreciate all of your hard work in making this happen. Wow, I am amazed you were able to pull this off, given the various regions in Guyana and all of the complexities to verify the correct data.

[Edited] My family played lots of cricket in Albion and Guyana. My grandfather was Gopal and his brother was Narine. One of my eight uncles was Madan Gopal, who open opened batting for the Guyana "colony side" in the 50's, before Guyana existed. His son was Sen Gopal, who played for Guyana in the 1970s. My other uncles played for Albion and local teams like Silver Whip. One other local famous uncle was Angad "Scott" Gopal, who later played for Canada.

[Edited] My cousins were Stanley Venkasammy and Kennedy Venkasammy. Stanley opened batting for Berbice with Roy Fredricks in the 1960s. Kennedy played for the first West Indies Youth team (Under-19) to tour England in 1970 (Managed by Wes Hall). Kennedy and Larry Gomes made the most runs and topped the batting averages for that touring team.

My grandfather's brother's daughter (my mom's first cousin) had a few kids: Richard, Richmond, Rachel and one named Rohan. Rachel married Mr Etwaroo and their children were Romaine, Reginald and Terry Etwaroo. My last cousin was Rohan Kanhai. The rest is history.

[Edited] Your article on Kennedy Venkersammy needs to to be amended. Kennedy left Guyana in 1971-72 to migrate to the USA. Its unfair to say Kennedy could not hold his place in the Berbice side. Ken at the time was an amazing all-rounder. Like my coach Lance Gibbs told me, he left too early.

However, you were correct to say that the Guyana and West Indies teams were star-studded at that time. Sew Shivnarine, our neighbor who was like a big brother to me, was never in the way for Kennedy to make the Berbice team. Ken left because he wanted a better life for himself, away from cricket.

In 1977, he went back to Guyana on vacation and was picked for Berbice cricket team that played Pakistan before the ODI against West Indies. He hit Safraz Nawaz for 4 consecutive fours in one over and rumor had it the ball had to be changed. Safraz, after the game, asked Clive Lloyd, "Why isn't this kid on the West Indies team?"

Ken probably has more centuries in the US than any other USA player. He played in the 1982 and 1986 ICC World Cup tournaments for the USA. I personally scored his 215 Not Out in 35 overs at Van-Courtland Park.

 

Guyana-Cricket response:

Guyana-Cricket was extremely grateful was this information, which added considerably to our knowledge of Guyana cricket history, and helped to set the record straight about Kennedy Venkasammy.