West Indies star Christopher Gayle said it means a lot to have been recognized by the University of the West Indies for his contributions to cricket.
Gayle and Patrick Patterson were the two honourees recognized today during the innings break when the UWI Vice Chancellor’s XI played Bangladesh in a day/night match at Sabina Park.
Before a small but appreciative crowd of several hundred, Dr Akshai Mansingh, Dean of the Faculty of Sports at the University of the West Indies, Mona, read tributes to both men – first Patterson, who was absent and then Gayle.
Bangladesh coach Courtney Walsh, a past honouree, collected a plaque on behalf of his reclusive one-time bowling partner from UWI Vice-Chancellor Professor Hilary Beckles, who also presented Gayle with his.
“It means a lot. I just want to thank the University of the West Indies, Professor (Hilary) Beckles and the entire team. It’s good to be recognized when you have achieved the outstanding within your career. I am very thankful for that and hopefully set more standards, set more records before I actually depart from the game,” said Gayle, whose contribution of 29 helped take the Vice Chancellor’s XI to 227 for 9 in their turn at bat against Bangladesh.
He said he was disappointed that Patterson was not able to make it to the ceremony but happy that he was able to be honoured alongside the long-retired tearaway Windies quick.
“It’s good to be honoured beside Patterson aka Rambo, it would have been nice to see him in the flesh. It has been a while since I have seen him, two former (Excelsior students) as well, so it’s actually good to be honoured alongside Patrick Patterson. It’s a privilege to be honoured once more.”
Of note, it was Gayle’s 138 playing for the Vice Chancellor’s XI back in 2003 that propelled him back into the Windies team after being out of the squad for two years.
Earlier, Yannick Ottley top scored with 58 and Kavem Hodge 44 as the two shared in a 91-run seventh wicket stand to rescue the Vice Chancellor’s XI from 89 for 6 taking them to a respectable 227 for 9. Some lusty hitting in the final over from Javon Searles who was unbeaten on 11 got the Vice Chancellor’s team to their respectable total.
Mossadek Saikat took 4 for 14 while Rubel Hossain returned figures of 3 for 40.