Sabina Park, Nov 28, 2011, a set on Flickr.
In which Tunku Varadarajan, whom i follow on Twitter and who’s editor of Newsweek International, is in Kingston for 2.5 days and contacts me by DM on Twitter to say he’d like to see Sabina Park….So being one of the top ten cricket ignoramuses of the planet I tweet for help. Cuz if it were up to me I would just do a drive by viewing, …”And on the left @tunkuv is Sabina Park…” Fortunately I decided to try a ting on Twitter asking “Who know anything bout Sabina Park? Is it open, have to take someone there whose fervent wish is to see it but know little abt access etc” and lo and behold @roderickJa responded saying “yes it is! Head to Kingston Cricket Club; ask for Jabba. Tell him I sent you/guests. He will give a tour, and the smalls up to u.”
So said so done. The photos speak for themselves…Let’s bring back the Lawrence Rowe Players Pavilion though!!!!
PS: For those who don’t know Lawrence Rowe, also known locally as Yagga Rowe, was one of the most brilliant batsmen Jamaica has produced. The photos of newspaper clippings above attest to his explosive talent. Earlier this year in recognition of this the Players Pavilion at Sabina Park was named in his honour which aroused a spontaneous outcry from members of the public still outraged at Rowe’s having led a cricket eleven to play in South Africa during the Apartheid era as part of the so-called Rebel tours. Rowe was reviled for breaking the ban on engaging with a racist South Africa and accused of greed because the players who went were handsomely paid. Completely overlooked was the fact that Rowe came from a very poor background, and that by then his eyesight was compromised by ” teryginum, a disease involving vision-blurring growths: they had almost completely covered his right eye and were on the way to obscuring vision in the left.” Also overlooked is the fact that the thrashing of the Australian team in South Africa by the black West Indian eleven led by Rowe was an enormous psychological boost for black South Africans. The campaign of disapproval against Rowe’s actions has persisted to this day resulting in the revocation of the decision to name a pavilion after Rowe. In the photos above you can see the attempt to erase his name from Sabina Park.