Sports Buzz (March/ April 2005)

The Cotton Tree Foundation enlists celebrity golfers for a good cause, and South Africa's best arrive to challenge the Windies cricket team

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Teeing off for a good cause

Last year, the Cotton Tree Foundation’s charity golf tournament became the first one-day tournament in Trinidad to raise funds of a quarter-million TT dollars. Scheduled to coincide with the touring English cricket team’s visit to Trinidad, the event brought out members of both Test sides and a collection of ex-cricketers and TV personalities to contest a two-a-side, front-and-back tournament at Moka Golf Course.

After a day of fun on the greens, the winning twosome were English cricketer Marcus Trescothick and businessman Annan Rajpaulsingh, and the day ended with a successful auction of cricket bats signed by both teams.

This year, the Cotton Tree Foundation, a non-governmental organisation founded in 1993 to assist and aid the impoverished and underprivileged residents of the St Ann’s area north of Port of Spain, is doing it again. This time it’s the visiting South African cricket team — alongside many Windies players, past and present, including Brian Lara, Desmond Haynes, and Viv Richards — who will be revealing their handicaps and raising funds to support the foundation’s many community programmes. But Cotton Tree knows that its success must be measured in terms other than just dollars raised. “We do not have to look far to be reminded that throwing money at a problem does not provide a solution,” says chairman Desmond Allum. “So when I talk about the investment of resources, I am talking about more than money.”

 

The Cotton Tree Celebrity Golf Tournament takes place on 13 April. For further information, or to make a donation, call (868) 623-5120, or email cotree@wow.net

 

Springbok invasion

2004 was a mixture of the good, the bad, and the ugly (not necessarily in that order) for West Indies cricket. Back-to-back home and away Test series defeats to England were painful, despite the awesome record-breaking performance delivered by captain Brian Lara in Antigua in April — his 400 not out averted what would have been the first whitewash ever suffered on home soil by the West Indies.

But it wasn’t all disaster – youngsters like Dwayne Bravo, Ravi Rampaul, and Dwayne Smith were blooded and all did well, Bravo in particular emerging as a bright prospect for the future.

The one-day side impressed too, with some good performances in the Caribbean, especially at Beausejour Stadium in St Lucia against England. But consistency was a problem. In the summer, after a mixture of results against England and New Zealand, the necessary form finally arrived, and with it some fantastic performances, culminating in a deserved victory in the ICC Champions Trophy final that had West Indies fans stopping traffic in the streets all over the Caribbean and in south London.

With no Tests and only one-day matches scheduled in Australia for the first few months of 2005, the year has got off to a slow start for the team. But with a new coach — Australian Bennett King — a rejuvenated winning spirit, following the ICC triumph, and the usual home advantage, the Windies are eager to deal with a resurgent South African team, who arrive in March for their two-month tour of the Caribbean. South African batsmen Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith are in fine form and bowlers Makhaya Ntini, Charl Langeveldt, Nicky Boje, and the indefatigable Shaun Pollock in the mood to make life difficult for Lara and “we boys”.

 

SOUTH AFRICA TOUR OF THE WEST INDIES, 2005

1st Test            31 March to 4 April      Guyana

2nd Test           8 to 12 April                Trinidad

3rd Test           21 to 25 April              Barbados

4th Test           29 April to 3 May         Antigua

1st one-day

international    7 May                           Jamaica

2nd ODI          8 May                           Jamaica

3rd ODI          11 May                         Barbados

4th ODI          14 May                          Trinidad

5th ODI          15 May                          Trinidad